Objective: To study the prospective effects of post- myocardial infarction (MI) depressive disorder on health status, including self reported cardiac symptoms, disability, and health related quality of life, at 12 months after MI while controlling for cardiac condition and health status at three months after MI.
Methods: Longitudinal study of a cohort of 468 adults with MI recruited from four hospitals in the north of the Netherlands between September 1997 and September 2000. Assessment of depressive disorder in the year after MI according to International classification of disease, 10th revision criteria. Assessment of health status at three and 12 months by the RAND 36 item health survey, the health complaints scale, self rated cardiac complaints, and disability.
Results: Patients with post-MI depressive disorder were more likely than those without to have poor quality of life, more health complaints, more cardiac complaints, and more disability at 12 months' follow up. In multivariate analyses adjusted for cardiac condition, health status at three months, age, sex, and pre-MI depression, the prospective association of post-MI depression with poor health status remained for most of the indicators. Severity of the post-MI depression further contributed to aspects of poor health status.
Conclusions: In a prospective study design, post-MI depression had strong effects on poor health status exceeding the effects of cardiac condition and its short term consequences. Efforts to improve health status after MI should therefore include standard assessment and guideline based treatment of post- MI depressive disorder.