Patients with a diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD) who later develop depression are significantly more likely to die of any cause or to have a heart attack compared to heart disease patients without depression.
Researchers from the University of Toronto analyzed data from nearly 23,000 patients across several medical centers in Ontario, Canada. Patients with a history of depression or other heart-related events, such as stent placement or heart attack, were excluded.
The findings revealed that patients with CAD who were found to be depressed were a startling 83 percent more likely to die of any cause, and 36 percent more likely to have a heart attack compared to those not depressed during follow up.
In a press release on the study, lead author, Dr. Natalie Szpakowski said:
“Based on these findings, there may be an opportunity to improve outcomes in people with coronary heart disease by screening for and treating mood disorders.”
The study will be presented a the upcoming American College of Cardiology’s 65th Annual Scientific Session.