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Psychosocial Factors and Cardiovascular Disease in Spain

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The social determinants of cardiovascular health

Can depression or stress cause heart diseases? A European study performed epidemiological research on the social determinants of cardiovascular health.


Cardiovascular diseases constitute a leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally, with nearly 2 million associated deaths in Europe alone. Various pathology-related risk factors such as smoking, dyslipidemia, hypertension, obesity and diabetes have been linked to cardiovascular diseases. Emerging evidence points towards a group of novel psychosocial factors that may interfere with the development and prognosis of cardiovascular disease. These factors include job strain, depression, social support and stress. The scope of the EU-funded PSYCHO CARDIO SPAIN (Psychosocial factors and cardiovascular disease in Spain) project was to study how social determinants such as urban environments and social differences affect the aforementioned psychosocial factors. To this end, the consortium utilised established questionnaires in well over 4 000 participants to assess the depression scale, social support, and stress at home and at work. Generating knowledge on the possible associations between common psychosocial factors such as job strain and depression with cardiovascular disease has important clinical consequences. The outcome can serve as the basis for formulating preventive approaches such as tobacco prevention across Europe.


Epidemiological, cardiovascular diseases, risk factors, psychosocial factors

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