Heart health and mental health: Breaking the silos

As we now know, there’s a strong link between mental health and physical health. Stress, anxiety, and depression often go hand in hand with common cardiometabolic disorders such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.


The head-heart connection

Research shows that people with heart disease are 75% more likely to develop a behavioral health condition such as depression. [1] There are a numbers of reasons why this can happen. People may feel overwhelmed, worried, or isolated after a heart event or heart disease diagnosis. Hormonal and chemical changes can also lead to changes in mood. About one in five people who have a heart attack are diagnosed with depression soon after. [2]

The correlation between mental health and heart health goes in both directions. People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic conditions than the general population. [3]

Conventional wisdom held that there was a behavioral link between these two conditions: people who suffer emotionally tend to seek relief in activities that are harmful to their health, such as smoking, poor nutrition, and a sedentary lifestyle. Recent research calls this assumption into question and points to chemical and biological factors shared by heart disease and mental health issues. [4] Certain medications used to treat mental health may play a role as well. [5]

A recent study from Johns Hopkins found that poor mental health is linked to higher risks of heart disease among young and middle-aged adults. [6]


The value of a whole health solution

Given what we know now – that these conditions travel in packs – we can’t ignore the interplay between heart health and mental health. It’s important to offer an integrated solution that addresses the whole picture.

Proven Results: Behavioral Health

  • Dario’s digital CBT program is proven to reduce depression and anxiety in 6 weeks

Proven Results: Hypertension

  • 38% of Dario users reduced hypertension by one stage

Dario’s hypertension solution gives people everything they need to stay on top of their blood pressure numbers and track their trends. But it also includes mindfulness tools, CBT sessions, and one-on-one coaching to help move the needle for mental health.

We’ve seen that true multi-condition integration delivers the whole health support necessary for long-term behavior change and meaningful results. As always, we’ll keep following the science and introducing innovations that drive better health.


[1] Infographic: Chronic Health Conditions and Mental Health | Mental Health America (mhanational.org)

[2] Depression and Heart Disease | Johns Hopkins Medicine

[3] The intersection of mental illness and cardiometabolic disease | CMHC

[4] Mental Health and Heart Health | American Heart Association

[5] Mental Health By the Numbers | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

[6] New Study Finds Depression, Poor Mental Health Linked to Higher Heart Disease Risks Among Young Adults | Johns Hopkins

Learn more about Dario digital health solutions

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While we do offer one-on-one coaching and see the value in human support, our focus is on arming people with the tools to help themselves. Contact us to learn more.

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