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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2002 Mar-Apr;10(2):192-8.

New postoperative depressive symptoms and long-term cardiac outcomes after coronary artery bypass surgery.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Weill Medical College, Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.


The authors evaluated the impact of an increase in depressive symptoms at 6 months after elective coronary artery bypass graft surgery on long-term cardiac morbidity and mortality between 6 and 36 months postoperatively. Patients who had low scores for depressive symptomatology pre-operatively and who completed follow-up at 6 months were contacted again 36 months after surgery to assess cardiac and neurologic morbidity and mortality. At 36 months after surgery, an interval history was completed, and baseline questionnaires were readministered. Follow-up was obtained on 123/124 patients (99%). The rate of combined new cardiac morbidity/mortality between 6 and 36 months was 13.6% among those with newly increased depressive symptoms at 6 months vs. 3.0% in the patients without new depressive symptoms at 6 months. Only an increase in depressive symptoms at 6 months was related to the occurrence of subsequent cardiac complications between 6 and 36 months. In this small sample of patients, increased depressive symptoms at 6 months after surgery appear to be associated with the occurrence of subsequent major cardiac morbidity/ mortality.

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