According to a new study at the Duke University in the United States, depression increases the risk of dying from heart failure. The link between depression and coronary artery disease is well established and generally have a worse outcome.
They screened 357 patients diagnosed with heart failure for depression. They found depressive symptoms in 35.3%,with 13.9% being classed as suffering from major depression. Patients who were not depressed had a mortality rate of 5.7%at three months and 13.7% at one year. For the depressed patients, the rates were 13% and 26.1%.
Depression also increased the risk of being re-admitted to hospital. While 36.5% of non-depressed patients were re-admitted within three months, and 52.3% within a year, the figures for the depressed patients were 52.2% and
The Duke researchers feel that all heart failure patients should be screened for depression.In order to improve the outcome, these patients are treated with anti-depressants. Maybe non-drug approaches like therapy would be useful.Thus, the mechanism by which depression worsens heart failure still has to be established.