Treating depression in MI patients saves lives

Effectively treating depression in patients who have just experienced a heart attack will not only improve their quality of life, it could well improve their mortality, new research from Korea suggests.

Among 300 patients who had recently experienced acute coronary syndrome and had depression as a comorbidity, those randomised to a 24-week course of escitalopram were 30% less likely to have a major adverse cardiac event over a median of eight years compared with those given placebo.

In actual numbers, 40.9% (61) of the 149 patients given escitalopram had a major adverse event (including cardiac death, MI or PCI) over the period of follow-up compared with 53.6% (81) of the placebo group (151 patients), according to the study findings published in JAMA.

It has long been known that depression is a common morbidity associated with acute coronary syndrome. It is also known that patients who have this comorbidity tend to have worse long-term cardiac outcomes than those who are depression-free.

But what has yet to be proven is the benefit of treating this depression, at least in terms of mitigating this increased ...

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