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New, Not Recurrent, Depression a Risk After Myocardial Infarction

Myocardial infarction patients with ongoing or recurrent depression have little risk for additional events

TUESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Only patients who develop a new episode of depression in the year after a myocardial infarction have an elevated risk of new cardiovascular events compared with non-depressed patients, researchers report in the Dec. 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Those with ongoing or recurrent depression are at no greater risk than other patients.

Peter de Jonge, Ph.D., of the University Medical Centre Groningen in the Netherlands, and colleagues assessed 468 patients with myocardial infarction to determine if incident and non-incident depression differentially affected cardiovascular events.

After controlling for confounders, those identified with an incident International Classification of Diseases-10 depressive disorder within a year of the initial myocardial infarction had a hazard ratio of 1.76 for new cardiovascular events. Those with non-incident depression did not have a higher risk of new events compared with non-depressed patients (HR, 1.39).

The authors of an accompanying editorial suggest that beta-blockers might benefit patients "who experience their heart attack as particularly traumatic, thereby perhaps decreasing onset of incident post-MI depression and related cardiovascular risk."

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