Heart attack patients with depression 54% more likely to be hospitalized

Two studies presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2018 examined how depression affects heart disease and stroke.

The AHA conference took place April 6 and April 7 in Arlington, Va.

The first study included a large population of adult cardiovascular disease patients divided into two groups — patients diagnosed with depression and patients without depression. The patients were given health questionnaires and the patients who had not been diagnosed with depression were further subdivided into high-and low-risk groups for depression.

The study shows those patients at a high risk for depression were more than two times likely to be hospitalized and use the emergency room than those at low risk. Additionally, high-risk patients had worse healthcare-related quality of life and spent more on overall and out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures yearly.

The second study compared use of health resources and expenditures among heart attack patients with and without depression. Researchers found heart attack patients diagnosed with depression were 54 percent more likely to be hospitalized and 43 percent more likely to have emergency room visits, compared to those not diagnosed with depression.

Also, heart attack patients with depression spent an estimated $4,381 more per year on healthcare expenses.

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