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The association between depression after myocardial infarction and increased risk of mortality and cardiac morbidity may be due to cardiac disease severity.
To combine original data from studies on the association between post-infarction depression and prognosis into one database, and to investigate to what extent such depression predicts prognosis independently of disease severity.
An individual patient data meta-analysis of studies was conducted using multilevel, multivariable Cox regression analyses.
Sixteen studies participated, creating a database of 10 175 post-infarction cases. Hazard ratios for post-infarction depression were 1.32 (95% CI 1.26–1.38, P<0.001) for all-cause mortality and 1.19 (95% CI 1.14–1.24, P<0.001) for cardiovascular events. Hazard ratios adjusted for disease severity were attenuated by 28% and 25% respectively.
The association between depression following myocardial infarction and prognosis is attenuated after adjustment for cardiac disease severity. Still, depression remains independently associated with prognosis, with a 22% increased risk of all-cause mortality and a 13% increased risk of cardiovascular events per standard deviation in depression z-score.