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Psychosom Med. 2001 Mar-Apr;63(2):203-9.

History of treatment for depression: risk factor for myocardial infarction in hypertensive patients.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.



Psychological factors have been suspected of contributing to the development of cardiovascular disease. This study examined the relationship between a self-reported history of treatment for depression and subsequent myocardial infarction among treated hypertensive patients.


Participants (5564) in a union-sponsored, hypertension control program in New York City, who entered the program during 1981-1994 without a history of cardiovascular disease and who were asked whether they had been treated for depression, were followed in a prospective cohort study. The primary outcome of interest was hospitalization or death due to myocardial infarction.


At entry, 3.5% of men and 6.4% of women reported a history of treatment for depression. During 4.9 years (average) of follow-up, 112 fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarctions were recorded. The sex-adjusted relative risk of myocardial infarction was 2.24 (confidence interval = 1.13-4.45). Controlling for known cardiovascular risk factors with multivariate proportional hazards models, history of treatment for depression was significantly associated with subsequent myocardial infarction (hazard ratio = 2.10, confidence interval = 1.04-4.23).


A self-reported history of treatment for depression is independently associated with subsequent myocardial infarction in treated hypertensive patients without prior cardiovascular disease. Whether additional or different treatment for depression will be cardioprotective is unknown and merits further study.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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