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Psychosomatics. 2017 Jan - Feb;58(1):64-68. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2016.09.003. Epub 2016 Sep 21.

Depression and Liver Transplant Survival.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
2
Minnesota Department of Human Services, Child and Adolescent Behavior Health Services, Willmar, MN. Electronic address: steven_thurber@yahoo.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients who underwent liver transplantation and experienced clinical depression have heretofore evinced lower survival rates when compared to nondepressed counterparts.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the hypothesis that transplant patients who seek and obtain medical treatment for depression would circumvent the prior reduced survival findings.

METHODS:

A total of 765 patients with liver transplants were scrutinized for complications following transplantation. Further, 104 patients experienced posttransplant depression as manifested by diagnosis and treatment by medical personnel. Survival analyses were conducted comparing hazard and survival curves for these selected individuals and the remainder of transplant patients.

RESULTS:

Contrary to prior data and consistent with the aforementioned hypothesis, median survival durations, survival curves, and hazard functions (controlling for age and prolonged posttransplant survival for the depressed patients were better.

CONCLUSION:

The improved survival for the depressed patients may simply be related to an amelioration of depressed symptoms via antidepressant medications. However, this interpretation would only be congruent with reduced hazard, not elevated survival, beyond the norm (median) for other transplant participants. Assuming the reliability and generalization of our findings, perhaps a reasonable and compelling interpretation is that combined with the effectiveness of antidepressant medications, the seeking and receiving treatment for depression is a type of proxy measure of a more global pattern of adherence to recommended posttransplant medical regimens.

KEYWORDS:

compliance.; depression; liver transplants; survival analysis

PMID:
27871761
DOI:
10.1016/j.psym.2016.09.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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