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APA: Depression-Heart Disease Connection Explored

Attendees offered strategies for motivating patients to make healthy lifestyle changes

THURSDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- The strong link between mental health, depression, and heart disease is the topic of several sessions presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), held from May 16 to 21 in San Francisco.

During a May 21 "Frontiers in Science" lecture entitled "The Power of Personalized Lifestyle Changes," Dean Ornish, M.D., founder and president of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif., addressed motivational strategies aimed at improving diet and exercise habits and showed how doctors can create a personalized strategy for patients based on their genetic and other individual traits.

During a May 21 symposium entitled "Matters of the Heart: Depression and Cardiovascular Disease," APA past president Carolyn Robinowitz, M.D., currently in private practice in Washington, D.C., moderated four presentations.

"Cardiovascular disease is still the number-one killer in the United States," Robinowitz said in a statement. "Treatments for depression are effective, and we are learning about their positive impact on the course of cardiovascular disease as well as the quality of life."

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