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Am Heart J. 2006 Nov;152(5):940.e1-8.

Relationship of depression, anxiety, and social isolation to chronic heart failure outpatient mortality.

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School of Nursing, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.



The Psychosocial Factors Outcome Study (PFOS) investigated the prevalence of depression and anxiety and the relationship of psychosocial factors to mortality in outpatients with heart failure (HF).


Considerable evidence links psychosocial factors to coronary heart disease mortality and sudden cardiac death (SCD). The contribution of psychosocial factors independent of disease severity to HF outpatient mortality is not well elucidated.


Patients (N = 153) from 20 Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure Trial (SCD-HeFT) sites participated in the PFOS. SCD-HeFT provided demographic, medical history, and cardiac data. Participants completed questionnaires to assess psychosocial status at PFOS entry.


Depression and anxiety were common in HF outpatients (36% Beck Depression Inventory-II > or = 13; 45% State Trait Anxiety Inventory > or = 40). Depression, anxiety, and social support amount did not differ in the SCD-HeFT treatment groups: implantable cardioverter defibrillator, amiodarone, and placebo medication. Fifteen (9.8%) patients died during mean follow-up at 23.6 months (SD = 8.2). In Cox regression controlling for treatment, depression, anxiety, and social isolation separately predicted mortality; perceived HF-specific functional status did not. Depression (ln) [P = .04, hazard ratio (HR) = 1.81] and social isolation (P = .04, HR = 2.25), but not anxiety, predicted mortality independent of demographics, clinical predictors, and treatment. When simultaneously including significant demographic, clinical, and psychosocial predictors and treatment groups, depression (ln) (P = .022, HR = 2.2) and social isolation (P = .094, HR = 1.75) predicted mortality. All-cause mortality was 12% for depressed patients and 9% for others.


This study finds a high prevalence of anxiety and confirms the high prevalence of depression in the HF outpatient population. Depression and social isolation predicted mortality independent of demographic and clinical status in HF outpatients.

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