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Congest Heart Fail. 2003 May-Jun;9(3):163-9.

Depression and congestive heart failure.

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  • 1Department of Family Practice, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE 68102, USA.


The prevalence rates of depression in congestive heart failure patients range from 24%-42%. Depression is a graded, independent risk factor for readmission to the hospital, functional decline, and mortality in patients with congestive heart failure. Physicians can assess depression by using the SIG E CAPS + mood mnemonic, or any of a number of easily administered and scored self-report inventories. Cognitive-behavior therapy is the preferred psychological treatment. Cognitive-behavior therapy emphasizes the reciprocal interactions among physiology, environmental events, thoughts, and behaviors, and how these may be altered to produce changes in mood and behavior. Pharmacologically, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are recommended, whereas the tricyclic antidepressants are not recommended for depression in congestive heart failure patients. The combination of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor with cognitive-behavior therapy is often the most effective treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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