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Controlling depression is associated with improved health for heart-failure patients
Date:10/31/2012

sertraline treatment, however, did not significantly differ from placebo in reducing depressive symptoms.

The current study focused on participants' depression and health status, independent of sertraline.

"We wanted to dig deeper into the health effects in patients whose depression improved over the study period, regardless of their medication use," said Xiong.

Xiong and the research team used data from rigorous, standardized evaluations administered over the course of the 12-week SADHART-CHF study to measure both depression and general health. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale questionnaire was administered periodically to all study participants to assess the severity of depressive symptoms. Cardiac and general health were determined using the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire and the Short Form Health Survey (completed by 285 study participants) and a six-minute walk test (completed by 378 participants).

Participants whose depression remitted during the trial intervention had improvement on scores of physical health on a variety of measures, including social limitation, physical limitation, quality of life, symptom frequency and total symptoms.

"To put the results in perspective, a five-point change in the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire is clinically significant," says Xiong. "The patients whose depression was in remission had scores 13 points higher than those who were not in remission."

Those outcomes were backed up by the Short Form Health Survey, which showed that reduced depression symptoms also improved physical function and general health perception. The six-minute walk test also showed significant improvements in endurance, as patients with reduced depression could walk on average 47 meters -- or about 154 feet -- farther than their counterparts with major depression.

According to the researchers, their results open up a new avenue of investigation that could lead to
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Contact: Karen Finney
karen.finney@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9064
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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