DEPRESSION AFTER MI
ANCHOR LEAD:DEPRESSION AFTER A HEART ATTACK IS VERY COMMON, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
One in five patients hospitalized for a heart attack will suffer a bout of major depression, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports. Those who do suffer depression are three times as likely as others who've had a heart attack to develop another cardiac problem or die from a future attack. Rick Lange, chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins, says these numbers point to a need for screening .
LANGE: There are gradations of depression. Some are very evident and others are much more subtle. And since this study shows that somewhere between ten and as much as fifty percent of patients may have symptoms of depression after MI, it leads one to believe that these patients should undergo some type of formal testing afterwards. :18
Screening for depression is typically fairly simple, requiring administration of a questionnaire that may point to the need for further testing. Medications and therapy for depression are also generally effective and may reduce the chance that another heart problem will develop.
At the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, I'm Elizabeth Tracey reporting.