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12/23/2009 - News

Depression Increases Mortality in Atrial Fibrillation

By: June Chen, MD


 Depression has been associated with worse outcomes in many cardiac conditions, including congestive heart failure (CHF).

Now, Canadian researchers report that increased symptoms of depression are linked to cardiovascular mortality in patients who have atrial fibrillation and CHF, despite optimal medical treatment. Their findings were published online June 29, 2009 in the journal Circulation.

The researchers evaluated 974 participants, 833 of whom were men, with both atrial fibrillation and CHF. After measuring symptoms of depression, the researchers found that 32% of study participants had an elevated depression score. During an average follow-up period of 39 months, 246 of the study participants died of cardiovascular-related causes. The researchers found that an elevated depression score was a significant predictor of cardiovascular mortality, and the highest mortality risk was found among study participants who were both depressed and unmarried.
Based on these findings, the researchers conclude that additional study should be conducted to elucidate the mechanisms behind this increased risk, as well as potential treatment options. Currently, the American Heart Association recommends depression screening in patients with coronary artery disease in order to identify those who might benefit from additional evaluation and treatment. Although there is evidence that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants are safe and effective in coronary artery disease patients, further studies are needed.


Circulation. Published online June 29, 2009.
Created on: 07/13/2009
Reviewed on: 12/23/2009

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Anonymous wrote 13 weeks 18 hours ago

Karen is my name and I have Deppression as well, my husband is in the Police Force and you never knows what will happen He's been there for 23 years, so both of us has a lot of deppression

How do I handle it because thats when my fits get bad when he is moody

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