7/20/2007 The new issue of *International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry*
includes an article: “Depression & the risk for cardiovascular diseases:
systematic review & meta-analysis.”

The article is by Koen Van der Kooy, Hein van Hout, Harm Marwijk, Haan
Marten, Coen Stehouwer, & Aartjan Beekman.

Here’s the abstract:

Background

Depression and cardiovascular diseases are both common among elderly.
Depression is suspected to be an independent risk factor for the onset
of coronary heart disease, yet it is not clear to what extent and if
depression also is associated with the onset of other diseases of the
circulatory system.

Aims

To estimate the risk of depression as an independent risk factor for
various cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and explore the effects of
heterogeneity and methodological quality.

Method

Meta-analyses and meta-regression analyses of longitudinal cohort and
case-control studies reporting depression at baseline and CVD outcomes
at follow-up.

Data sources

MEDLINE (1966-2005) and PSYCHINFO (1966-2005).

Results

Of the 28 studies that met the inclusion criteria, 11 were assesed as
high quality studies. Although depressed mood increased the risk for a
wide range of CVDs, heterogeneity was substantial in most cases. Only
the overall combined risk of depression for the onset of myocardial
infarctions (n=8, OR=1.60, 95%CI 1.34-1.92) was homogenous. Clinically
diagnosed major depressive disorder was identified as the most important
risk factor for developing CVD.

Conclusions

Depression seems to be an independent risk factor for the onset of a
wide range of CVDs, although this evidence is related to a high level of
heterogeneity.

The author note states that reprint requests may be sent to:
<hpj.vanhout@vumc.nl>.

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