Depression basically increases the peril of death in heart failure patients, researchers’ discovered.
Heart failure patients with moderate to serious case of depression had a five times risk of death than those who are suffering from mild depression or those who are not suffering from it at all, experts discovered.
“We know that depression is common in heart failure and affects 20 to 40 percent of patients,” said study author John Cleland, a professor of cardiology at Imperial College London and the University of Hull in England.
Of the 154 patients evaluated, 27 had mild depression and 24 with moderate to serious bout of depression. After about 302 days of follow up, 27 of the subjects died.
The increased danger of death associated with moderate to serious case of depression was free of other health issues and the severity of heart failure, the researchers said.
The study was to be introduced Saturday at the annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology in Seville, Spain. Research presented at meetings is usually considered temporary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
Heart failure means that the heart can’t pump blood as it should. Around one-quarter of patients hospitalized with heart failures are readmitted for a combination of other illnesses within one month, Cleland said. . “Within one year, most patients will have had one or more re-admissions and almost half will have died,” he added in a society news release.
“Our results show that depression is strongly associated with death during the year following discharge from hospital after an admission for the exacerbation of heart failure; we expect that the link persists beyond one year,” Cleland added.
In any case, the study did not show completely that depression causes an increase in death risk among heart failure patients.
Depressions are often related to loss of interest, loss of excitement for daily activities, sleep problems and change in eating habit with related weight change, Cleland noted. “This could explain the association we found between depression and mortality,” he said.
Despite the revelations, Cleland doesn’t favor prescribing antidepressants to heart failure patients who suffer depression right away.
“Studies suggest that they are not effective in reducing depression in patients with heart failure. Clinicians should, however, screen patients with heart failure for depression and consider referring those affected for counseling,” he recommended.