RALEIGH, N.C. – Patients with chronic illness often suffer from depression. Nearly 6.7 percent of Americans carry a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. It is a serious mental illness that interferes with a person’s daily activities and can significantly reduce quality of life.
Patients with heart disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes are at very high risk for developing depression. In some studies, up to 30 percent of patients with a serious medical condition have the signs and symptoms of depression.
In addition, depression in patients with chronic disease is associated with higher healthcare costs and increased use of medical services.
A new study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Spain links depression with a five-fold increase in all-cause mortality in patients with a particular form of heart disease called congestive heart failure. It occurs when the heart becomes weak and is unable to pump the blood to the body in an efficient manner.
In the study, researchers used surveys and questionnaires to assess depression in over 150 patients hospitalized with congestive heart failure. They found that those who were not depressed were 80 percent less likely to die. Those that were depressed were five times more are risk for death from all causes.
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