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Psychosom Med. 2005 Jan-Feb;67(1):52-8.

Longitudinal course of depressive symptomatology after a cardiac event: effects of gender and cardiac rehabilitation.

Author information

1
Women's Health Program, Toronto General Research Institute, Behavioural Sciences and Health Division, and Kinesiology and Health Sciences, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. sgrace@yorku.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Recent research has linked depression to cardiac mortality, and shown a high burden of persistent depressive symptomatology among cardiac patients. The objective of this study was to longitudinally examine the prevalence and course of depressive symptomatology among women and men for 1 year after a cardiac event, and the effect of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) on this trajectory.

METHODS:

Nine hundred thirteen unstable angina (UA) and myocardial infarction patients from 12 coronary care units were recruited, and follow-up data were collected at 6 and 12 months. Measures included CR participation, medication usage, and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The longitudinal analysis was conducted using SAS PROC MIXED.

RESULTS:

At baseline there were 277 (31.3%) participants with elevated depressive symptomatology (BDI > or = 10), 131 (25.2%) at 6 months, and 107 (21.7%) at 1 year. Overall, approximately 5% were taking an antidepressant medication, and 20% attended CR over their year of recovery. Participants with greater depressive symptomatology participated in significantly fewer CR exercise sessions (r = -0.19, p = .02), and minimal psychosocial interventions were offered. The longitudinal analysis revealed that all participants experienced reduced depressive symptomatology over their year of recovery (p = .04), and younger, UA participants with lower family income fared worst (ps < 0.001). CR did not have an effect on depressive symptomatology over time, but women who attended CR were significantly more depressed than men (p = .01).

CONCLUSION:

Depressed cardiac patients are undertreated and their symptomatology persists for up to 6 months. CR programs require greater resources to ensure that depressed participants adhere to exercise regimens, and are screened and treated for their elevated symptomatology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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