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On the basis of several small studies, depression is often considered a barrier to cardiac rehabilitation (CR) enrollment and program completion. The purpose of this research was to examine the association between depression diagnosis and participation in CR in a large sample of Medicare beneficiaries with recent myocardial infarction (MI).This was a retrospective study of Medicare beneficiaries with an MI during 2008 (N = 158 991). CR enrollment was determined by the Carrier and Outpatient files using the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System #93797 or #93798. Depression diagnosis was obtained from the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes in the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR), Outpatient and Carrier Files. The association between depression diagnosis and CR attendance was evaluated using multivariable logistic regression.Overall, 14% (n = 22 735) of the study population attended CR within 1 year of MI diagnosis. Twenty-eight percent (n = 43 827) had a diagnosis of depression, with 96% of cases documented before enrollment in CR. Twenty-eight percent with a diagnosis of depression compared with 9% without depression attended CR. In adjusted analysis, patients with depression were 3.9 (99% CI, 3.7-4.2) times more likely to attend CR compared with those without depression. Program completion (≥25 sessions) was more common in those with depression (56%) than in those without (35%) (P < .001).Diagnosis of depression in Medicare beneficiaries was strongly associated with attending CR and attending more sessions of CR compared with those without depression. Depression is not a barrier to CR participation after MI in Medicare beneficiaries.