Collaborative care for depression may lower risk for cardiac disease

Can evidence-based collaborative care reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes for older, depressed individuals without a preexisting heart disease? New research suggests that it can, reports Psychiatric News.

Researchers from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis investigated the effect of providing depression treatment before the onset of cardiovascular disease. Prior studies have generally looked at the impact of depression treatment only after a cardiac event, and have failed to find a significant benefit. 

Using data from the IMPACT trial, the researchers focused on 168 individuals who had no cardiovascular disease at the start of the trial. Those participants who received collaborative care for depression had a 47 percent lower risk of a heart attack or stroke; those who received usual care had a 28 percent lower risk.

The IMPACT trial compared a specialized treatment program for depression to treatment as usual in a primary care clinic.

The National Institute on Aging funded the investigation; the report, “Effect of Collaborative Care for Depression on Risk of Cardiovascular Events: Data From the IMPACT Randomized Controlled Trial,” was published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine