Depression May Be An Important Cardiac Risk Factor

Armen Hareyan's picture

Research has demonstrated a strong connection between depression and heart disease. Depression has been linked to increased risks of developing coronary heart disease and increased mortality rates.

A Cleveland Clinic led study examined the changes of depressive symptoms and their effects on mortality among the elderly. The research team conducted a literature review and utilized a novel statistical methodology to simultaneously model longitudinal changes in depression and long-term survival. The findings suggest that early screening and intervention of depression for the elderly might prevent excessive mortality.


"Our study captured a picture of the natural progression of depression," said Jianping Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., lead author, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Cleveland Clinic. "Our hope is that better screening will lead to earlier intervention among elderly populations and will ensure that depressed patients get help."

The study is a collaboration between Cleveland Clinic and researchers at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University.

The study was presented at the American Psychosomatic Society Annual Meeting in Budapest, Hungary.

About the Study
In order to assess the association between changes in depression and long-term mortality, we analyzed a dataset from a large longitudinal study of elderly people living in the community. At study entry, 865 people (mean age = 80.7, 65.8% women) participated initial comprehensive assessment, including the Center of Epidemiological Studies