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Saudi Med J. 2012 Nov;33(11):1159-68.

Clinical review of treatment options for major depressive disorder in patients with coronary heart disease.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


It is established that the prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) in coronary heart disease (CHD) populations is high and is associated with increased mortality. In this systematic review, we examined the evidence for the effective treatment of MDD in CHD patients by reviewing randomized control trials (RCTs) between 1980 and 2011 and then assessing whether these treatments were clinically meaningful. A total of 8 RCTs were retrieved. Sertraline, citalopram, and mirtazapine were safe from a cardiac perspective, but only sertraline and citalopram were clearly more effective than placebo in CHD patients with moderate-to-severe type, recurrent MDD, or MDD episode onset before the CHD event. Augmenting sertraline with omega-3 fatty acids did not result in superior depression outcomes. Cognitive-behavioral therapy was equivocally superior to usual care. Interpersonal psychotherapy was only superior to clinical management in patients with high baseline functional status. Exercise is a potential treatment for those with mild depression.

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