Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Medicine, Coronary Care Unit, Depression in Heart Disease, Heart Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease, Stress Testing
Mechanisms linking post-MI depression to increase mortality; Depression in patients with heart disease
Roy Ziegelstein, M.D., came to Johns Hopkins in 1986 after receiving his M.D. from Boston University, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He joined the faculty in 1993 and became Professor of Medicine in 2006. Dr. Ziegelstein directed the internal medicine residency program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center from 1997 to 2006, and he has served there as Deputy Director and then Executive Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine since 1996.
Dr. Ziegelstein is an internationally-recognized expert in the relationship between depression and cardiovascular disease. He directed the Cardiovascular Disease group in the NIH-funded Johns Hopkins Center for Mind-Body Research from 2004-2010.
Dr. Ziegelstein's primary funding priorities involve efforts to understand why patients with heart disease who have depression and/or anxiety have more problems with their heart than those without emotional distress. Depression is important in its own right because of its effects on an individuals quality of life. Dr. Ziegelstein believes that this alone should get the attention of patients with heart disease and their doctors, especially since patients with heart disease have such a high likelihood of being depressed or anxious. In addition, though, research by Dr. Ziegelstein has shown that depressed or anxious individuals with heart disease are less likely to take the medications that are needed to help reduce their risk of heart attack and death.
Further, Dr. Ziegelstein's work has shown that platelets, which are small cells that cause blood to clot, are more sticky in individuals with depression than in individuals without depression. This could place depressed individuals with heart disease at greater risk of a heart attack or stroke. Dr. Ziegelstein and others have also shown that depressed patients with heart disease may be at greater risk of having abnormal nervous system signaling to the heart that may lead to serious heart rhythm abnormalities. Thus, he believes that additional research must be done to define how best to care for patients with such serious illnesses.
Dr. Ziegelstein leads a group that is investigating multiple aspects of this topic, and works closely with psychologists and psychiatrists to provide care to those patients afflicted by both heart disease and emotional distress.