Depression affects nearly one-third of hospital patients, study finds

More than 30 percent of hospital patients experience symptoms of depression, suggests research published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

A review of 20 studies on depression screening conducted by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found 33 percent of hospital patients involved in the studies displayed symptoms of depression. Previous research has shown depressed patients are less likely to appropriately adhere to medication recommendations and carry an increased risk of readmission.

"Upon admission to the hospital, patients are screened for all kinds of medical issues such as abnormalities in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar," said lead study author Waguih William IsHak, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to a report from HealthDay. "Adding a screening for depression seizes a golden opportunity to initiate and maintain treatment … These findings show that hospitals might experience improved outcomes by initiating a depression screening program."

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