Metabolic & Cardiovascular Health

Metabolic (associated with blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight) and cardiovascular (associated with the heart and blood vessels) diseases are the principal cause of death globally. At the PATH lab, we are interested in investigating the directional pathways between mental health and cardiovascular and metabolic health. We are also interested in psychosocial and behavioral risk and protective factors, including diet, exercise, stress, mood, early life adversity, social support, and sleep habits. We also examine interactions between risk factors to investigate whether the combination of certain individual risk factors may compound their effects on health. 

With a psychosocial approach to metabolic and cardiovascular health, we aim to enhance and broaden existing literature and ultimately provide the knowledge “building blocks” to improve mental health for people with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and reduce the incidence of disease and disease complications.

Deschênes, S. S., Burns, R. J., & Schmitz, N. (2020). Anxiety and depression symptom comorbidity and the risk of heart disease: a prospective community-based cohort study. Psychosomatic medicine, 82(3), 296-304.

Deschênes, S. S., Burns, R. J., Graham, E., & Schmitz, N. (2020). Depressive symptoms and sleep problems as risk factors for heart disease: a prospective community study. Epidemiology and psychiatric sciences, 29.

Deschênes, S. S., Burns, R. J., & Schmitz, N. (2018). Comorbid depressive and anxiety symptoms and the risk of type 2 diabetes: Findings from the lifelines cohort study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 238, 24-31.