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Health Psychol Rev. 2012;6(2):165-179.

Do Different Depression Phenotypes Have Different Risks for Recurrent Coronary Heart Disease?

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1
Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY.

Abstract

Although research has consistently established that depression and elevated depressive symptoms are associated with an increased risk of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) recurrence and mortality, clinical trials have failed to show that conventional depression interventions offset this risk. As depression is a complex and heterogeneous syndrome, we believe that using simpler, or intermediary, phenotypes rather than one complex phenotype may allow better identification of those at particular risk of ACS recurrence and mortality and may contribute to the development of specific depression treatments that would improve medical outcomes. Although there are many possible intermediary phenotypes, specifiers, and dimensions of depression, we will focus on only two when considering the relation between depression and risk of ACS recurrence and mortality: Inflammation-Induced Incident Depression and Anhedonic Depression. Future research on intermediary phenotypes of depression is needed to clarify which are associated with the greatest risk for ACS recurrence and mortality and which, if any, are benign. Theoretical advances in depression phenotyping may also help elucidate the behavioral and biological mechanisms underlying the increased risk of ACS among patients with specific depression phenotypes. Finally, tests of depression interventions may be guided by this new theoretical approach.

KEYWORDS:

acute coronary syndrome; cardiovascular diseases; depression; depressive disorder; myocardial infarction; phenotype

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