How Undiagnosed Depression Impacts Heart Patients

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Approximately one-fifth of cardiovascular disease patients have depression, which can have a negative impact on their health and care, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2018 in Arlington, Virginia.

Researchers at Baptist Health South Florida in Coral Gables, Florida, conducted two studies examining aspects of depression and cardiovascular disease. In the first study, they divided adult heart patients into two groups: those with depression and those without diagnosed depression. Then they divided the second group into sub-groups: those at high risk for depression and those at low risk. They discovered that patients at high risk for depression had worse health care experiences, increased use of emergency room services, poorer perception of their health, and lower health-related quality of life than those diagnosed with depression.

In the second study, the researchers compared health resource use and spending among heart attack patients with and without depression. They determined that heart attack patients with diagnosed depression were 54 percent more likely to be hospitalized and 43 percent more likely to require emergency room care than those without depression.

According to the researchers, these studies suggest that aggressive depression screening in people with cardiovascular disease could improve patient experiences and health care efficiency and lower costs.

Sourced from: American Heart Association