Depression has be found to significantly increase the risk of death in the case of heart failure patients, a new study announced.
Heart failure patients whom suffer from moderate to severe depression had a five fold increased risk of death than those with no depression or just a mild form of the disease, researchers say.
“We know that depression is common in heart failure and affects 20 to 40 percent of patients,” explained study author John Cleland, a professor of cardiology at Imperial College London and the University of Hull in England.
The scientists studied 154 patients studied, 27 of whom had mild depression while 24 had been suffering from moderate to severe depression. The research followed the patients on an average of 302 days. In this period, 27 patients died.
The increased risk of death linked to moderate and severe depression was isolated from other health issue, and also from the severity of heart failure, the scientists added.
The research was revealed Saturday at the annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology which took place in Seville, Spain. Studies that are presented at meetings are usually considered preliminary until their results are published in a medical journal.
Heart failure happens when the heart can’t pump blood as efficient as it should.
“About one-quarter of patients hospitalized with heart failure are readmitted for a variety of reasons within one month. Within one year, most patients will have had one or more readmissions and almost half will have died,” Cleland mentioned in its adress.
“Our results show that depression is strongly associated with death during the year following discharge from hospital after an admission for the exacerbation of heart failure; we expect that the link persists beyond one year,” Cleland explained.
The research did not offer definitie proof that depression is linked to an increase in death risk in heart failure patients.
Depression is usually connected to loss of motivation, sleep disturbances, loss of interest in everyday activities and change in appetite which then causes weight changes. According to the scientist, this fact could be an explanation for the association the scientists found between depression and mortality.
Despite the discovery, Cleland is not recommending prescribing antidepressants to heart failure patients who suffer from depression. He said that studies point to the fact that they are not effective in cutting down depression in patients with heart failure. “Clinicians should consider referring patients affected by depression for counseling,” he recommended.
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