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cardiac rehabilitation, depression, prevalence



  1. Todaro, John F. PhD
  2. Shen, Biing-Jiun PhD
  3. Niaura, Raymond PhD
  4. Tilkemeier, Peter L. MD


PURPOSE: Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that depression is an independent risk factor for the development and recurrence of coronary heart disease (CHD). The prevalence of depressive disorders, however, is not well documented in CHD patients enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation (CR). The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of current and lifetime depressive disorders in the CR setting.


METHODS: One hundred ten men and women diagnosed with CHD and enrolled in a phase II CR program were screened via a psychiatric, structured interview to assess current and lifetime history of major depressive disorder, minor depression, and dysthymic disorder.


RESULTS: A total of 17 (15.5%) individuals screened positive for a current depressive disorder at entry into the CR program, with 10 (9.1%) individuals screening positive for major depressive disorder, 7 (6.4%) for minor depression, and 6 (5.5%) for dysthymic disorder. With respect to lifetime prevalence of mood disorders, 29 (26.4%) individuals met the diagnostic criteria for at least one depressive disorder during their lifetime. The lifetime prevalence of major depressive disorder, minor depression, and dysthymic disorder was 11.8%, 14.5%, and 10.9%, respectively. Female CR participants evidence significantly higher current and lifetime prevalence rates for depressive disorders compared to their male counterparts.


CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that a substantial number of CHD patients enrolled in CR report a clinically significant history of depression. Efforts to assess and treat depression are needed in the CR setting and may be associated with better adherence to lifestyle modification programs