Usefulness of Persistent Symptoms of Depression to Predict Physical Health Status 12 Months After an Acute Coronary Syndrome

Published:November 23, 2007DOI:
      Previous research has focused on the relation between depression after an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and subsequent cardiac morbidity and mortality. However, the relation between depression and quality of life during recovery remains unclear. We investigated whether symptoms of depression during hospitalization for ACS or the course of depressive symptoms after ACS predict physical health status 12 months after ACS, controlling for physical health status at the time of the ACS. This was a prospective study of 425 patients with ACS assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Short Form 12 (SF-12) Health Survey during hospitalization and 12 months later. Linear regression was used to assess the relation between in-hospital BDI scores and BDI symptom trajectory after ACS with physical health status 12 months later, controlling for baseline physical health status, age, gender, Killip class, history of acute myocardial infarction, and cardiac diagnosis. Baseline BDI scores predicted 12-month physical health (p <0.001). Compared with nondepressed patients, only patients with persistent symptoms of depression were at risk for poorer physical health. Patients with newly developed depressive symptoms after ACS were at slightly increased risk for worsened physical health (p = 0.060), whereas patients with transient depressive symptoms were not at increased risk. In conclusion, these results underscore the importance of assessing depression at the time of ACS and on an ongoing basis.
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