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Int J Cardiol. 2013 Jul 31;167(2):502-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2012.01.062. Epub 2012 Feb 16.

Incidence rates and predictors of major and minor depression in patients with heart failure.

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  • 1University of Heidelberg, Department of Psychosomatic and General Internal Medicine, Heidelberg, Germany.



Depression is common in heart failure (HF) and associated with adverse outcomes. This study aimed to investigate incidence rates and predictors of depression in patients sampled from four subprojects of the German Competence Network Heart Failure.


Eight hundred thirty nine symptomatic HF patients free of depression at baseline underwent repeat depression screening (Patient Health Questionnaire, PHQ-9) after 12 months. Ordered logistic regression analysis was employed to search for predictors of incident depression.


Incident minor (major) depression was observed in 61 (7.3%) and 47 (5.6%) of the population. Depression was recurrent in 15 (25%) and 16 (34%), respectively. Multiple regression analysis revealed seven variables predicting minor or major depression: Previous depressive episode (odds ratio [OR] 4.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.37-6.89, p ≤ 0.001), previous resuscitation (OR 2.44, CI 1.23-4.81, p=0.010), current smoking (OR 2.06, CI 1.08-3.50, p=0.008), >4 visits/year to general practitioner (OR 1.67, CI 1.06-2.63, p=0.026), New York Heart Association class (OR 1.54/class, 95% CI 1.05-2.25, p=0.027), PHQ-9 baseline sum-score (OR 1.18/point, CI 1.11-1.27, p<0.001), and SF-36 physical functioning (OR 1.08/-5 points, CI 1.03-1.13, p=0.002).


In these HF patients initially free of depression annual incidence rates were high. Several independent predictors allowed identification of patients at particular risk. Although obtained in a selected cohort these findings call, in view of the grave prognosis of HF patients with comorbid depression, for regular depression screening and development of specific supportive strategies to improve patient care and outcomes in HF.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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