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Comparative Study
. 1996 Sep 15;78(6):613-7.
doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(96)00380-3.

Depression and Long-Term Mortality Risk in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease

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Comparative Study

Depression and Long-Term Mortality Risk in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease

J C Barefoot et al. Am J Cardiol. .

Abstract

Previous research has established that patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) have an increased risk of death if they are depressed at the time of hospitalization. Follow-up periods have been short in these studies; therefore, the present investigation examined this phenomenon over an extended period of time. Patients with established CAD (n = 1,250) were assessed for depression with the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) and followed for subsequent mortality. Follow-up ranged up to 19.4 years. SDS scores were associated with increased risk of subsequent cardiac death (p = 0.002) and total mortality (p < 0.001) after controlling for initial disease severity and treatment. Patients with moderate to severe depression had a 69% greater odds of cardiac death and a 78% greater odds of mortality from all causes than nondepressed patients. Increased risk was not confined to the initial months after hospitalization. Patients with high SDS scores at baseline still had a higher risk of cardiac death > 5 years later (p < 0.005). Compared with the nondepressed, patients with moderate to severe depression had an 84% greater risk 5 to 10 years later and a 72% greater risk after > 10 years. Patients with mild depression had intermediate levels of risk in all models. The heightened long-term risk of depressed patients suggests that depression may be persistent or frequently recurrent in CAD patients and is associated with CAD progression, triggering of acute events, or both.

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