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Depression Linked to Higher Heart Costs in Women

Women with depression, suspected ischemia had up to 53 percent higher five-year costs

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Depression, as defined via several different methods, was associated with higher cardiovascular costs over five years in women with suspected myocardial ischemia, according to research published in the Jan. 13 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Thomas Rutledge, Ph.D., of the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System in San Diego, Calif., and colleagues analyzed data from 868 women referred for coronary angiogram for suspected myocardial ischemia. Depression was quantified by recent antidepressant use, history of treated depression, and Beck Depression Inventory score. Data on health care use for cardiovascular disease events was collected annually.

Though the depressed women showed less severe coronary artery disease, they were more likely to have cardiovascular events during follow-up, the report indicates. Depression was associated with increases in five-year cardiovascular costs of 15 to 53 percent, depending on the definition of depression. Stronger associations were seen between depression and cost in women who didn't show significant coronary artery disease.

"These cost differences were only partially explained by a comprehensive collection of covariate predictors. Relationships between depression and costs were particularly strong among women without evidence of significant coronary artery disease, suggesting that depression may play a larger cost role in women without traditional markers of heart disease," the authors write.

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