Risk factors for positive depression screens in hospitalized cardiac patients

Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
Journal of Cardiology (Impact Factor: 2.78). 03/2012; 60(1):72-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2012.01.016
Source: PubMed


Depression is common in patients with cardiac illness and is independently associated with elevated morbidity and mortality. There are screening guidelines for depression in cardiac patients, but the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of screening all cardiac patients is controversial. This process may be improved if a subset of cardiac patients at high risk for depression could be identified using information readily available to clinicians and screened.
To identify risk factors for a positive depression screen at the time of admission in hospitalized cardiac patients.
A total of 561 consecutively screened cardiac inpatients underwent the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2). A prospective chart review was performed to assess potential risk factors for depression that would be readily available to front-line clinicians. Rates of risk factors were compared between patients with positive and negative PHQ-2 depression screens, and multivariate logistic regression was performed to assess whether specific risk factors were independently associated with positive screens.
Of the 561 patients screened, 13.5% (n=76) had a positive depression screen (PHQ-2≥2). In the univariate analyses, several variables were associated with a positive depression screen. On multivariate analysis, an elevated white blood cell (WBC) count (>10×10(9) cells per liter) and prescription of an antidepressant on admission were independently associated with a positive depression screen, while current smoking showed a trend toward significance.
Information on these three identified risk factors (WBC count, antidepressant use, and smoking) is readily available to clinicians, and patients with these diagnoses may represent a cohort who would benefit from targeted depression screening in certain settings.

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    • "similar to findings reported in other populations primarily free from heart diseases (Friborg et al., 2013). Extending beyond previous reports of routine screening (Annunziato et al., 2008; Caro et al., 2012; Holzapfel et al., 2007; Luttik et al., 2011; Shemesh et al., 2009; Smolderen et al., 2011), these findings have clear clinical implications given the strong associations between personality disorders and other psychiatric comorbidity, even by comparison to positive screen and presumably distressed patients. Consistent with a previous report these findings suggest that implementation of routine screening results in a number of psychiatric comorbidities (Luttik et al., 2011), with personality disorders notably among the highest users of mental health services (Callaly et al., 2011). "
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