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Neglecting your mental health could affect your heart health

Eau Claire (WQOW)- If you're neglecting your mental health, experts said you could be putting your heart at risk.

According to Mental Health America, 40% of heart disease patients meet the criteria for major depressive disorder.

They said tobacco use and stress both affect your mental and heart health.

They said people with depression are also less likely to have a healthy diet and exercise habits and are more likely to abuse alcohol, which increases the risk of heart disease.

Chelsie Smith, a public health nurse for Eau Claire City-County Health Department, said the symptoms of depression and heart disease overlap, so it might be difficult to detect a patient could be suffering from both.

"People that have a heart attack are at higher risk for developing depression afterward because it's a change of lifestyle, especially if you didn't know that you had a heart condition and that heart attack is a complete surprise to you," Smith said.

Smith said some common symptoms include fatigue and sleeping too much or too little.

She said if you have depression or heart disease it's important to let your doctor know so you can be screened.

Dani Smith

News Producer

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