Depression and the Risk of Myocardial Infarction and Coronary Death: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies

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Abstract

Findings regarding the association between depression and risk of coronary heart disease are inconsistent. We aimed to assess the association between depression and risk of myocardial infarction (MI) and coronary death through a meta-analysis.

We performed an electronic literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, ISI Web of Science, and Scopus databases through August 1, 2015, and manual search of the references of the eligible papers and related review articles. Two investigators independently conducted study selection and data abstraction. Disagreement was resolved by consensus. Confounder-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were pooled using a random-effects model. Heterogeneity was evaluated using the Cochran Q statistic and Higgins index. Publication bias was assessed by funnel plot and Egger test. Study quality was appraised with the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.

Among 19 eligible cohort studies including 323,709 participants, 8447 cases of MI and coronary death were reported during follow-up ranging from 4 to 37 years. The pooled adjusted HRs for patients with depression (vs those without) were 1.22 (95% CI, 1.13–1.32) for combined MI and coronary death, 1.31 (95% CI, 1.09–1.57) for MI alone (9 studies), and 1.36 (95% CI, 1.14–1.63) for coronary death alone (8 studies). The increased risk of MI and coronary death associated with depression was consistent using modified inclusion criteria, across most subgroups, and after adjusting for possible publication bias.

Depression is associated with a significantly increased risk of MI and coronary death. Effective prevention and treatment of depression may decrease such risk.

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