Patients with heart failure are at five-fold increased risk of death following discharge from hospital if they also suffer from moderate to severe depression, suggests a new research.
The findings suggest that recognition and management of depression may reduce mortality for patients with heart failure.
"Our research clearly shows a strong association between depression and risk of death in the year after discharge from hospital," said chief study investigator John Cleland, professor of cardiology at the Imperial College London.
Depression is often related to loss of motivation, loss of interest in everyday activities, lower quality of life, loss of confidence, sleep disturbances and change in appetite with corresponding weight change.
"This could explain the association we found between depression and mortality," Cleland explained.
The study enrolled patients hospitalized with heart failure. It involved 103 patients who were not depressed, 27 with mild depression and 24 with moderate to severe depression. Over a mean follow up of 302 days, 27 patients died.
Patients with moderate to severe depression had a five-fold increased risk of death compared to those with no or mild depression.
"Our results show that depression is strongly associated with death during the year following discharge from hospital after an admission for the exacerbation of heart failure; we expect that the link persists beyond one year," Cleland pointed out.
The association was independent of the severity of heart failure or the presence of comorbidities, Cleland said.
The findings were presented at Heart Failure 2015, annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), in Seville, Spain.