In-hospital symptoms of depression do not predict mortality three years after myocardial infaction

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Background The main aim of this study was to examine the relationship between symptoms of depression following myocardial infarction (MI) and 3-year survival status. Methods The Beck Depression Inventory was completed by 288 patients hospitalized for MI. Patients' cardiological status, including indices of disease severity, were recorded or derived from hospital notes. Three-year survival status was determined using patient information systems and cause of death ascertained from death certificates. Results During the 3 years of follow-up, 38 patients (13%) died, 33 (11%) from cardiac causes. Symptoms of depression did not predict either cardiac-specific or all-cause mortality. Similarly, in-hospital levels of anxiety were not associated with prognosis. In contrast, measures of disease severity and discharge medication status were strong prognostic indicators. Depression was not related to measures of disease severity at entry to the study. Conclusions Symptoms of depression following MI do not predict longer-term survival, although measures of disease severity and discharge medication status do. Previous positive results for depression and cardiac mortality in MI patients could reflect the occasional confounding of depression with disease severity.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1182
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002


  • myocardial infarction, mortality, depression, disease severity