Heart-mood-death: The clinical expression of the cholesterol-serotonin controversy by the temporal distribution of deaths from coronary heart disease and suicide

E. Stoupel*, U. Gabbay, J. Petrauskiene, E. Abramson, R. Kalediene, J. Sulkes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cholesterol and serotonin are both involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of most cases of coronary/ischaemic heart disease and of depression, a common factor in suicide. High levels are associated with heart disease and low levels with depression and suicidal behaviour. The purpose of this study was to examine the temporal distributions of deaths from coronary/ischaemic heart disease and suicide in two distinct geographic areas, Israel and Lithuania, and their relationship to environmental physical activity. Data were accumulated over three consecutive periods. A total of 18063 suicides (fatal and attempts) in Israel and 10792 suicides (fatal only) in Lithuania were analysed, as were 3179 deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke in Israel and 149294 deaths from ischaemic heart disease and stroke in Lithuania. The monthly death distribution was compared between groups and correlated with monthly parameters of solar and geomagnetic activity, space proton flux and other physical indices. Pearson correlation coefficients and their probabilities were obtained. The results showed that the monthly number of deaths from coronary/ischaemic heart disease and suicide are significantly and adversely correlated. However, despite its many common pathogenetic mechanisms with ischaemic heart disease, stroke was not related to suicide for this factor. The death distributions of ischaemic heart disease, stroke and suicide were significantly but differently related to geomagnetic activity, space proton flux, and radiowave propagation. We speculate that these findings are at least partly attributable to the role of depression-related cholesterol-serotonin interactions in the development, clinical course and prognosis of both ischaemic heart disease and suicidal behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-176
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical and Basic Cardiology
Volume3
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cholesterol
  • Ischaemic heart disease
  • Serotonin
  • Stroke
  • Suicide

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