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Psychosomatics. 2010 Jul-Aug;51(4):339-339.e8. doi: 10.1176/appi.psy.51.4.339.

Depressive symptoms in pulmonary arterial hypertension: prevalence and association with functional status.

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Pulmonary Hypertension Center, University of Colorado-Denver, 12401 E. 17th Ave., Box L957, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.



In patients with left-heart disease, depressive symptoms have a significant impact on functional status and quality of life. The prevalence of depressive symptoms, and their impact on patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is understudied.


The authors investigated the prevalence of depressive symptoms in PAH and their correlation with physical functioning.


Consecutive outpatients with PAH (idiopathic; or associated with scleroderma, congenital heart disease, or anorexiant use) seen in two university PAH clinics were screened. At two outpatient visits, 8 to 16 weeks apart, patients completed the PHQ-8, a well-validated instrument for grading severity of depressive symptoms; they were assessed for cardiac functional class (FC), and performed a 6-minute walk-distance test (6MWD).


A group of 100 patients (88% women, 50% with idiopathic PAH) were enrolled. At baseline, 15% of subjects had symptoms suggestive of major depressive disorder; 40% had mild-to-moderate depressive symptoms; and 45% had no-to-minimal depressive symptoms.


Depression is common in patients with PAH, with 55% demonstrating depressive symptoms. These results suggest that screening patients with PAH will identify a large proportion of patients who might benefit from depression therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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