Patients who have their first bout of depression after a heart attack are at greater risk for future heart problems, according to research from the Netherlands.
The researchers studied 468 patients hospitalised for heart attack. They assessed patients for depression in hospital and three and 12 months later.
Patients with heart attack-related depression experienced more fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular emergencies than patients who either did not become depressed or who were depressed before the heart attack.
The researchers concluded that patients should be screened for depression after referral to the ICU with a heart attack.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2006) Online publication. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2006.06.077.