Objective: This article reviews recent studies relating to the impact of depression and its treatment on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).
Methods: Articles for the primary review were identified via MEDLINE and PsycINFO (1995-2006).
Results: Evidence suggests that depression has an aversive impact on the HRQOL of patients with stable CAD as well as on patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction and coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Unfortunately, there are few depression treatment studies in patients with CAD that make use of standardized HRQOL measures, but the limited evidence suggests that successful treatment has positive implications for HRQOL in these patients. The mechanisms through which depression impacts on HRQOL require further study but are likely to be behavioral.
Conclusions: Depressive symptoms significantly undermine HRQOL in patients with CAD despite successful medical and surgical management. Although successful treatment of depression has not been shown to reduce mortality rates in patients with CAD, further study may find that the HRQOL benefits of such treatment are equally valuable.