Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Depression often untreated in black heart patients

African Americans with heart disease are as likely to suffer from depression as their white counterparts, but they are less likely to be on medication for it, a new study suggests.

The study of 864 adults with coronary heart disease found that 35 percent of African Americans and 27 percent of whites had symptoms of depression. Yet black patients were less than half as likely to be on an antidepressant medication.

The findings are important, the researchers say, because depression in people with heart disease has been linked to a two- to four-fold higher risk of complications.

Studies have found that depressed heart disease patients have higher risks of a heart attack or stroke, and may die earlier than those without depression.


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