Depression and anxiety are established psychosocial risk factors for coronary heart disease. Contemporary data on their prevalence and associations with other risk factors were evaluated as part of the EUROASPIRE IV survey.Design
The design of this study was cross-sectional.Methods
The study group consisted of 7589 patients from 24 European countries examined at a median of 1.4 years after hospitalisation due to coronary heart disease events. Depression and anxiety were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.Results
Symptoms of anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Anxiety score ≥8) were seen in 26.3% of participants and were more prevalent in women (39.4%) vs men (22.1%). Of the patients, 22.4% (30.6% of women and 19.8% of men) had symptoms of depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Depression score ≥8). Nevertheless, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications were prescribed to only 2.4% of patients at hospital discharge, and 2.7% and 5.0% of patients, respectively, continued to take them at interview. Both anxiety and depression were associated with female gender, lower educational level and more sedentary lifestyle. Anxiety was more prevalent in younger age groups and depression rates increased with advancing age. Depression was positively associated with current smoking, central obesity and self-reported diabetes. A number of positive lifestyle changes reduced the odds of anxiety and depression.Conclusions
A substantial proportion of patients have anxiety and depression symptoms after coronary heart disease events but these conditions are undertreated. These disorders, especially depression, are associated with other risk factors, including educational level, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, unhealthy diet and reduced compliance with risk factor modification.