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Eur J Heart Fail. 2006 Oct;8(6):634-40. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Depressive symptoms are prominent among elderly hospitalised heart failure patients.

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Department of Cardiology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, PO Box 30.001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands.



There are limited data on the prevalence of depressive symptoms in hospitalised elderly HF patients and demographic and clinical characteristics associated with depressive symptoms are not known.


A sample of 572 HF patients (61% male; age 71+/-12 years; LVEF 34%+/-15) was recruited from 17 Dutch hospitals during HF admission. Depressive symptoms were assessed by the CES-D. Demographic, clinical variables and HF symptoms were collected from patient chart and interview.


Forty one percent of the patients had symptoms of depression with women significantly more often reporting depressive symptoms than men 48% vs. 36% (chi(2)=8.1, p<0.005). HF patients with depressive symptoms reported more clinical HF symptoms than patients without depressive symptoms. Even after deleting HF related symptoms (sleep disturbances and loss of appetite) from the CES-D scale, 36% of patients were still found to have symptoms of depression. Multivariable logistic regression analyses revealed that depressive symptoms were associated with female gender (odds 1.68, 95% CI 1.14-2.48), COPD (odds 2.11, 95% CI 1.35-3.30), sleep disturbance (odds 3.45, 95% CI 2.03-5.85) and loss of appetite (odds 2.61, 95% CI 1.58-4.33).


Depressive symptoms are prominent in elderly hospitalised HF patients especially in women. Depressive symptoms are associated with more pronounced symptomatology, despite the fact that other indices of severity of left ventricular dysfunction are similar.

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