Assessment and treatment of depression following myocardial infarction.Am Fam Physician. 2001 Aug 15; 64(4):641-8.AF
Approximately 65 percent of patients with acute myocardial infarction report experiencing symptoms of depression. Major depression is present in 15 to 22 percent of these patients. Depression is an independent risk factor in the development of and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease in otherwise healthy persons. Persons who are depressed and who have pre-existing cardiovascular disease have a 3.5 times greater risk of death than patients who are not depressed and have cardiovascular disease. Physicians can assess patients for depression by using one of several easily administered and scored self-report inventories, including the SIG E CAPS + mood mnemonic. Cognitive-behavior therapy is the preferred psychologic treatment. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants are the recommended pharmacologic treatment because of the relative absence of effects on the cardiovascular system. The combination of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor with cognitive-behavior therapy is often the most effective treatment for depression in patients with cardiovascular disease.