Depressive Symptoms, Cardiac Disease Severity, and Functional Status in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease (from the Heart and Soul Study)

      Patient-reported health status is highly valued as a key measure of health care quality, yet little is known about the extent to which it is determined by subjective perception compared with objective measures of disease severity. We sought to compare the associations of depressive symptoms and objective measures of cardiac disease severity with perceived functional status in patients with stable coronary artery disease. We assessed depressive symptoms, severity of cardiovascular disease, and perceived functional status in a cross-sectional study of 1,023 patients with stable coronary artery disease. We compared the extent to which patient-reported functional status was influenced by depressive symptoms versus objective measures of disease severity. We then evaluated perceived functional status as a predictor of subsequent cardiovascular hospitalizations during 8.8 years of follow-up. Patients with depressive symptoms were more likely to report poor functional status than those without depressive symptoms (44% vs 17%; p <0.001). After adjustment for traditional risk factors and co-morbid conditions, independent predictors of poor functional status were depressive symptoms (odds ratio [OR] 2.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.89 to 3.79), poor exercise capacity (OR 2.30, 95% CI 1.65 to 3.19), and history of heart failure (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.12 to 2.29). Compared with patients who had class I functional status, those with class II functional status had a 96% greater rate (hazard ratio 1.96, 95% CI 1.15 to 3.34) and those with class III or IV functional status had a 104% greater rate (hazard ratio 2.04, 95% CI 1.12 to 3.73) of hospitalization for HF, adjusted for baseline demographic characteristics, co-morbidities, cardiac disease severity, and depressive symptoms. In conclusion, depressive symptoms and cardiac disease severity were independently associated with patient-reported functional status. This suggests that perceived functional status may be as strongly influenced by depressive symptoms as it is by cardiovascular disease severity.
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