Content » Vol 40, Issue 3

Relationship between cardiopulmonary fitness and depressive symptoms in cardiac rehabilitation patients with coronary artery disease

Walter Swardfager, Nathan Herrmann, Yekta Dowlati, Paul Oh, Alex Kiss, Krista Lanctôt

DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0151


Objective: To identify independent predictors of depressive symptoms in a cohort of patients with coronary artery disease entering cardiac rehabilitation.
Design: Cross-sectional cohort study.
Patients and methods: Consecutive patients entering a cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention programme underwent screening for depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale and cardiopulmonary fitness testing to quantify peak oxygen consumption.
Results: Of the 366 patients with coronary artery disease, 22.3% reported at least mild (CES-D ≥ 16) and 10.4% reported significant (CES-D ≥ 23) depressive symptoms. Antidepressant medications were being used by 6.3% of patients. Sociodemographic, cardiopulmonary and cardiac characteristics, and medical co-morbidities previously associated with depression accounted for 14.7% of the variance in a multiple linear regression model (F = 8.713, p < 0.001) predicting CES-D scores. Significant independent predictors of CES-D scores were lower peak oxygen consumption, younger age, female sex, lower maximum diastolic blood pressure, angina pectoris and antidepressant use.
Conclusion: Reduced physical fitness, younger age, female sex and ischaemic symptoms of coronary artery disease predict higher depressive symptoms in patients entering cardiac rehabilitation.

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