The Impact of Body Mass Index on the Link Between Depressive Symptoms and Health Outcome in Patients With Heart Failure


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Abstract

Background:Depressive symptoms are predictors of shorter cardiac event-free survival, whereas increased body mass index (BMI) is associated with longer cardiac event-free survival in patients with heart failure (HF). However, the impact of BMI on the link between depressive symptoms and cardiac event-free survival is unexplored. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the relationship between depressive symptoms and cardiac event-free survival differs among HF patients stratified by BMI tertiles.Methods:A total of 297 outpatients with HF completed the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 to assess depressive symptoms. Body mass index was calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. Patients were followed for 1 year to determine cardiac event-free survival. Cox proportional hazard regression with survival curves was used to determine the relationships among depressive symptoms, BMI, and cardiac event-free survival.Results:Both depressive symptoms (P < .001) and lower BMI (P = .002) are independent predictors of shorter cardiac event-free survival after controlling for age, gender, etiology, total comorbidity scores, ejection fraction, New York Heart Association functional class, and prescribed medications. Patients with depressive symptoms had shorter cardiac event-free survival compared with patients without depressive symptoms in the lowest (P = .001) and middle (P = .036) BMI tertiles. There was no difference in cardiac event-free survival between patients with and without depressive symptoms in the highest tertile (P = .894).Conclusions:Higher BMI has a protective role in the adverse effect of depressive symptoms on health outcomes in patients with HF.

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