The American Heart Association should consider depression to be a risk
factor for adverse outcomes following heart attacks, according to a scientific statement by an AHA committee.
The statement, published in Circulation, included a review of 53
studies assessing prognoses following ACS. The authors acknowledge
heterogeneity among the studies, but they conclude that “the
preponderance of evidence” points to depression as a risk factor for
all-cause mortality, cardiac mortality, and a composite of all-cause
mortality and nonfatal cardiac events after ACS.
They write: “There is not yet any strong evidence that treating
depression improves survival after ACS; however, worsening depression
is associated with worse clinical outcomes, and severe or persistent
depression is reason enough to consider more comprehensive evaluation
and treatment or referral to a mental health specialist.”
Circulation article (Free PDF)