Depression a Risk Factor for Heart Attacks

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)

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