Depression 'leads to worse outcomes for heart and stroke patients'

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

People experiencing heart health problems are more likely to face worse outcomes if they are also affected by depression.

This is according to a new study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions, which highlighted the many negative effects depression can have on cardiovascular patients, even when the condition is undiagnosed.

“A new study has highlighted the negative impact depression can have on outcomes among heart and stroke patients.“

It was found that those at high risk of depression spent more on overall and out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures, while those susceptible to depression were also more than two times more likely to be hospitalised and to rely on emergency care.

Additionally, the study showed that high-risk patients were more than five times more likely to have a self-perceived poor health status, almost four times more likely to be dissatisfied with their care, and generally experienced worse healthcare-related quality of life.

Dr Victor Okunrintemi, a research fellow at Baptist Health South Florida in Coral Gables, said: "As a quality improvement measure to increase healthcare efficiency, we recommend more aggressive depression screening at follow-up visits for heart attack patients."

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