Depression, CHD Add Up to Higher Risk of Mortality

Risk found especially high in adults with both depressive symptoms and coronary heart disease
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with depressive symptoms and coronary heart disease (CHD) have a particularly high risk of all-cause and cardiovascular death compared to individuals with one of these problems or neither, according to research published online Sept. 15 in Heart.

Hermann Nabi, Ph.D., of the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health in Villejuif, France, and colleagues analyzed data from 5,936 middle-aged men and women. The participants were categorized into four groups based on whether they had CHD and/or depressive symptoms, the latter of which was assessed with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.

The researchers found that, compared to the reference group without CHD or depressive symptoms, the hazard ratio for death from all causes was 1.67 for those with only CHD, 2.10 for those with only depressive symptoms, and 4.99 for those with both. Similar findings were seen for cardiovascular death. The relative excess risk attributed to the interaction between depressive symptoms and CHD for all-cause mortality was 3.58, suggesting an additive interaction.

"A major implication of these results is the need for health care professionals to pay more attention to depression in their cardiac patients. Approximately 20 percent of participants with a history of CHD in our study had depressive symptoms, a figure consistent with those from previous studies estimating the prevalence of minor and major depression in patients," the authors conclude.

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