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J Psychosom Res. 2001 Jun;50(6):295-301.

Depressed mood, physician-rated prognosis, and comorbidity as independent predictors of 1-year mortality in consecutive medical inpatients.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, University of G├Âttingen, von-Siebold Str. 5, D-37075 G├Âttingen, Germany. cherrma@gwdg.de



To determine the independent effects of depressed mood and markers of medical disease severity on mortality in consecutive medical inpatients.


Consecutive general medical inpatients were asked to complete the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) at admission. Prognostic indicators were obtained from patients' records and physicians' ratings. The study endpoint was mortality from all causes at 1 year.


The baseline assessment was completed by 575 patients (87.7%). Survival data were available for 572 of these (86 deaths). HADS depression scores and several physical risk indicators predicted mortality. In multivariate analyses, physicians' rating of prognosis was the best predictor of mortality [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 3.6; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.5--5.4]. Other independent predictors included a principal diagnosis of hemato-oncological disease, comorbidity scores, and HADS depression (adjusted OR 1.75; 95% CI, 1.10--2.79).


Our data demonstrate an independent prognostic effect of depressed mood on mortality in general medical inpatients. Screening for depression may improve risk stratification in these patients over and above that obtained by routinely available physical parameters and physicians' clinical judgement.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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