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Depression in heart failure

Moudgil, Rohit; Haddad, Haissam

Current Opinion in Cardiology: March 2013 - Volume 28 - Issue 2 - p 249–258
doi: 10.1097/HCO.0b013e32835ced80
HEART FAILURE: Edited by Haissam Haddad

Purpose of review This review aims to provide a general overview of the recent advances in understanding of depression as it pertains to heart failure. The focus is to impart an up to date knowledge in this field.

Recent findings The mortality associated with heart failure remains high despite recent pharmacologic interventions that have improved survival. The situation is complicated by recent recognition of depression being widespread in this population. Depression is a hard diagnosis, as some of the features coincide with the symptoms of heart failure. Recently the psychological sequelae of depression have been under major scrutiny, as it has been associated with increased morbidity. In addition, current data are quite compelling on prevalence of depression in heart failure patients. Therefore, it is imperative to highlight the recent challenges and to recognize areas requiring future research.

Summary Despite the prevalence of depression in heart failure, we remain abysmal in detecting, diagnosing and treating depression, which remains an independent predictor of mortality. Therefore, more research and more awareness are required in this arena.

Division of Cardiology, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence to Haissam Haddad, MD, FRCP(C), FACC, Director, Heart Failure Program, Medical Director, Heart Transplantation, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, 40 Ruskin Street, Rm 1289C, Ottawa, ON K1Y 4W7, Canada. Tel: +1 613 761 5165; fax: +1 613 761 5212; e-mail:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.