Heart failure (HF) patients with depressive symptoms that worsen over time have an increased risk for cardiovascular hospitalization or death, new research suggests.
A prospective, observational study published in the January 25 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that HF patients with the most marked increase in depression during a 1-year period had more than twice the risk for cardiovascular hospitalization or mortality compared with HF patients with minimal change or who improved.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate prospectively the clinical impact of changing depression symptoms in HF patients, and our observations demonstrate that such changes do indeed affect clinical outcomes,” the investigators, with first author Andrew Sherwood, PhD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, write.
According to the article, HF is the most costly diagnosis in the Medicare population and the most common cause of hospitalization in individuals older than 65 years. They note that clinical depression is also common in the HF population, affecting 24% to 42% of patients.