At the recently held World Psychiatric Association Thematic Conference on Intersectional Collaboration and 4th European Congress of the International Neuropsychiatric Association in Athens, Greece, Angelos Halaris, MD, PhD, made the case for this new subspecialty, which he believes would forge closer working relationships between psychiatrists and cardiologists, provide the training and expertise needed to detect cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in psychiatric patients (and vice versa), provide continuing education regarding the safe use of medications for patients with these comorbid disorders, and raise public awareness.Wow. More subspecialty regulation and titles? This is the best we can do?
"The formation of a formal subspecialty is a bit of a pipe dream at this point," Dr. Halaris, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood, Illinois, told Medscape Medical News.
"But I wanted to put it out there because our colleagues in cardiology as well as in psychiatry need to realize there is a very clear association between emotional/psychiatric/psychological conditions and cardiovascular health."
He noted that 40% to 60% of patients with CVD also have clinical depression. And 30% to 50% who have a diagnosis of depression are at risk of developing CVD.
"Multidisciplinary teams need to forge an alliance because of these comorbidities. This will allow an earlier diagnosis of our patients, vigorous treatment, and the prevention of worse conditions that would happen otherwise," said Dr. Halaris.