People who have fewer bouts of depression could be more than a third (34%) less at risk of having blocked arteries, new research suggests.
They also have a 33% lower risk of type 2 diabetes, regardless of lifestyle factors like diet and exercise, and their genetic risk.
Researchers suggest the prevalence of unrecognised depression in patients with heart disease has been known for more than 40 years.
However, it is unclear whether depression contributes to the development of heart disease.
According to the experts, the findings may have implications for improving the health of people with the conditions. But future research is needed to determine the cause of the observed associations and to identify potential implications for preventive treatments.
Pradeep Natarajan, of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and colleagues studied the complete DNA of 328,152 people of European ancestry (aged between 40 and 69) available in the UK Biobank database.