Can depression be a cause of natural death ?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

This question is bothering for an year and a half since my father’s death. My father was a man committed to his family who has always been caring and loving. All of a sudden he started to feel uneasy and sick with no specific problems. Doctors failed to diagnose any physical problems and said that he was “imagining his illness” and diagnosed him as suffering from depression. My father has no family history of mental illness or himself had any such symtom. He died within two days from heart failure. Is it possible that a person suddenly becomes depressive for no apparent reason and his heart fails from depression? He was 72

A: I am so sorry for your loss. You were fortunate to have such a loving and committed father. My research shows that heart disease and depression are often found together and each one can lead to the other. For more information, do an internet search of “depression and heart disease”. You will find a number of studies that show a high correlation. I hope that what you find gives you some comfort.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie




Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Jun 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). Can depression be a cause of natural death ?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from

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