Sunday, November 30, 2008

Treating depression seen important in heart failure

Depression increases the risk of death in patients with heart failure, but the risk apparently disappears with antidepressant use, according to a study.

"Recent studies suggest that the use of antidepressants may be associated with increased mortality (death) in patients with cardiac disease," Dr. Christopher M. O'Connor, of Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues note in the medical journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Because depression has also been shown to be associated with increased mortality in these patients, it remains unclear if this association is attributable to the use of antidepressants or to depression."

The researchers therefore studied roughly 1,000 patients hospitalized for heart failure who were followed up annually. The authors prospectively collected data on depression status and use of antidepressants.


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