Heart Patients With Depression Have A Higher Risk Of Mortality, Study Finds

Heart failure patients should also be screened for depression by their doctors, according to a new small study.

Researchers found that heart patients who experienced moderate to severe depression faced a risk of mortality five times higher than other patients. The findings were presented this month at the annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology.

For the study, researchers administered a standardized anxiety and depression questionnaire to 154 patients in order to determine mental health risks. Those who displayed signs of moderate to severe depression were more likely to have died in the 300 days that followed the assessment. Patients who were not classified as depressed according to their questionnaire results had an 80 percent lower risk of death, the study found.

Our research clearly shows a strong association between depression and risk of death in the year after discharge from hospital,” lead study researcher John Cleland, a professor of cardiology at Imperial College London and the University of Hull, said in a statement. “Recognition and management of depression may reduce mortality for patients with heart failure. More research is needed to find out what clinicians and patients themselves can do to manage depression. Better treatments for heart failure, co-morbidities as well as depression itself may be required.”

While depression and heart problems have been linked in the past, the study authors told the BBC that the new data could help further inform future studies that look at the bigger picture of how the two conditions potentially work in tandem. It’s likely that other factors come into play. People with depression may not feel the drive to take their medication or seek help in a timely fashion, researchers said, and previous research has found that depression may negatively —> Read More