HealthDay News — Among younger women being evaluated for coronary artery disease (CAD), the presence of depressive symptoms is associated with increased risk for death, according to research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Amit J. Shah, MD, MSCR, of Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues followed 3,237 patients undergoing evaluation for CAD for a median of 2.9 years to assess the effects of concurrent depressive symptoms on cardiovascular outcomes.

After multivariable adjustment for CAD risk factors, depressive symptoms predicted the presence of CAD in women aged 55 years or younger (odds ratio, 1.07; 95% CI: 1.02-1.13 per 1-point increase in Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9 score), the researchers found.

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Depressive symptoms also predicted increased risk of death (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.07; 95% CI: 1.02-1.14 per 1-point increase in PHQ-9 score) among those aged 55 years and younger.

No association was found between depressive symptoms and either presence of CAD, or risk of death, in men aged 55 years or younger, or women older than 55 years.

“Among patients with suspected or established CAD, depressive symptoms are associated with increased risk of death, particularly in young women,” the researchers wrote. “This group may be especially vulnerable to the adverse cardiovascular effects of depression.”


  1. Shah AJ. J Am Heart Assoc. 2014; 3: e000741 doi: 10.1161/​JAHA.113.000741