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J Psychosom Res. 2010 Aug;69(2):133-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2010.02.010. Epub 2010 Apr 7.

First episode of major depressive disorder and vascular factors in coronary artery disease patients: Baseline characteristics and response to antidepressant treatment in the CREATE trial.

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  • 1Research Center, University of Montreal Hospital Center (CRCHUM), Canada.



The CREATE trial reported that coronary artery disease (CAD) patients suffering from a first depression derived less benefit from citalopram relative to placebo than those with a recurrent depression. The present investigation sought to determine whether the differential benefit of citalopram between those with a first depression and those with recurrent depression could be explained by indicators of vascular depression and cardiac disease severity.


Secondary analyses of data from CREATE, a 12-week, randomized placebo-controlled trial of 284 patients with major depressive disorder and CAD were used. Recurrence subgroups were compared on baseline characteristics reflecting vascular depression and cardiac disease severity. Outcome measures were the mean change from baseline to 12 weeks on the 24-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale administered centrally by telephone. ANCOVA was used to assess the potential interaction of each baseline variable with citalopram/placebo treatment in predicting outcomes.


Few baseline differences differentiated patients with a first versus recurrent depression, and none accounted for the differential treatment efficacy in these subgroups. Patients with a cardiac event in the past 6 months (P=.02) and taking angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (P=.03) experienced less change with citalopram relative to placebo. Older age, worse functional status, taking beta-blockers, presence of angina (all P<.05), and later age of first depression (P=.05) predicted smaller changes in depression, independent of treatment assignment.


There was limited evidence that the lack of improvement with citalopram relative to placebo in CAD patients with a first depression can be attributed to vascular depression.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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