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Depression and Heart Disease: A Literature Review

26 January 2009


Depression increases the risk of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) and mortality in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). This paper systematically reviews the literature linking depression, MACE and CHD. Topics include statistics of CHD in the United States, the advent of psychocardiology, the mechanisms that link depression to CHD, screening for depression, complications of depressive symptoms for patients with CHD, adverse events from comorbidity, and treatment. Specific symptoms of depression can increase morbidity, mortality, the risk for a MACE, and patient nonadherence to treatment recommendations: It is recommended that CHD patients be screened for symptoms of depression during routine clinical exams, post MACE, and during treatment to decrease the risk of additional MACEs or mortality.


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