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Depression and Bypass Surgery

by Hratch L Karamanoukian, MD and Pierre Aoukar, MD
Posted: February 23

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland reported that people who suffer from depression a month after coronary artery bypass graft surgery are more likely to have cardiac problems 5 years later. The study was published in the November/December issue of the journal Psychosomatics. The purpose of the study was to determine whether depression 1 month after coronary artery bypass surgery would be associated with greater cardiac morbidity in patients 5 years later.

The researchers found that the cardiac symptom most affected by depression was the recurrence of chest pain (angina). Interestingly, factors associated with the development of angina at 5 years follow-up were depression before surgery, at 1 month, 1 year and at 5 years after coronary artery bypass grafting.

Using multiple logistic regression analyses, the score on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale at 1 month was the most significant of all factors for the development of angina at 5 years.

The study authors concluded that the depression score at 1 month after coronary artery bypass surgery is an important indicator of cardiac morbidity up to 5 years later.

The implications from this and other studies is that depression is a significant risk factor not only from the standpoint of outcomes after myocardial infarction but also impacts outcomes after cardiac surgery!

Depression and Cardiac Morbidity 5 Years After Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery , Psychosomatics 43:464-471

Date of Article Publication:
2002, December

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