Depression Increases Risk of Heart Failure

Depression Increases Risk of Heart Failure

Reported April 17, 2009

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Heart disease patients diagnosed with depression could be in double trouble. New research shows these patients are at an increased risk of heart failure after a diagnosis of depression.

In a recent study, researchers found depression diagnosis following coronary artery disease (CAD) was associated with a two-fold increased risk for the incidence of heart failure.

“Interestingly, when we stratified patients with depression by whether they received antidepressant medication or not, the incidence of heart failure didn’t change,” Heidi May, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., an epidemiologist at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, was quoted as saying. “This finding may indicate that antidepressants may not be able to alter the physical or behavioral risks associated with depression and heart failure, despite a potential improvement in depressive symptoms.”



Researchers note there are overlapping risk factors between depression and heart failure, including smoking, hypertension, diabetes and being overweight. Other studies have also linked depression to neglecting good health habits and adhering to medical treatment, all of which could contribute to the results of this new study. The researchers say their findings suggest careful screening for depression among CAD patients.

SOURCE: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2009;53:1440-1447