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Can J Psychiatry. 2010 Feb;55(2):91-9.

Efficacy and tolerability of antidepressants for treatment of depression in coronary artery disease: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.



Depression occurs in 18% to 45% of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) where it is associated with an increased risk of acute coronary events and mortality. Our objective was to quantitatively summarize the data on the efficacy and tolerability of antidepressant (AD) treatment for depression in CAD.


We performed a meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials with a database search of the English literature (to March 2008) and manual search of references.


Four clinical trials with ADs (mirtazapine, citalopram, fluoxetine, and sertraline) of a 9- to 24-week duration involving 798 subjects (402 ADs, 396 placebo) with documented CAD and meeting the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria for depression were included. ADs were superior to placebo for decreasing Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) scores (402 ADs, 396 placebo; weighted mean difference 1.41, 95% CI 0.53 to 2.29, P = 0.002) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores (373 ADs, 369 placebo; weighted mean difference 2.27, 95% CI 0.60 to 3.94, P = 0.008). The proportion of patients (216 ADs, 213 placebo) who responded (a 50% or more reduction in HDRS scores, OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.17 to 2.54) and remitted (HDRS of 8 or less at final assessment, OR 1.80, 95% CI 1.18 to 2.74), were also significantly higher with AD, compared with placebo, with no significant differences between the 2 groups for overall dropouts (OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.42 to 1.68) or dropout owing to adverse events (OR 1.30, 95% CI 0.75 to 2.25). The combined studies were homogeneous except for overall dropout rate (P = 0.01).


Treatment with ADs for depression in CAD results in significant therapeutic effects without substantially increased rates of discontinuation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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