Depressive Symptoms in Peripheral Artery Disease May Be Associated With Poorer Health Status

comforting patient, depression
A substantial percentage of women with peripheral artery disease reported having depressive symptoms.

A substantial percentage of women with peripheral artery disease (PAD) reported having depressive symptoms, which were associated with poorer health status, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests.

In this study (Patient-Centered Outcomes Related to Treatment Practices in Peripheral Artery Disease Investigating Trajectories; Identifier: NCT01419080), 1243 patients (mean age, 67.6±9.4 years; 38% women) with new or worsening PAD symptoms were recruited from 16 different vascular specialty clinics.

The 8-Item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8) was administered at baseline and at 3 months to assess depressive symptoms. In addition, the Peripheral Artery Questionnaire (PAQ) and EuroQoL (EQ-5D) Visual Analogue Scale were administered at baseline and at 3, 6, and 12 months to examine disease-specific and generic health status.

A greater percentage of women vs men presented with severe depressive symptoms (21.1% vs 12.9%, respectively; P <.001). At baseline, the mean PHQ-8 scores were 5.6±5.3 for women and 4.2±4.8 for men (P <.001).

Men and women who presented with depressive symptoms at baseline had lower PAQ health status scores at each time point when compared with baseline scores (adjusted mean score, 25.4 vs 46.7, respectively; P <.0001) and at 12 months (adjusted mean score, 50.0 vs 66.1, respectively; P <.0001). The health status of participants with vs without depressive symptoms was poorer at each time point (P <.0001).

Study limitations include the sole enrollment of patients from 16 vascular specialty clinics, which may limit generalizability of the findings across the general population with PAD.

“Depression warrants screening and treatment in its own right, but especially so in PAD, it is imperative to pay attention to this problem,” noted the study authors.

Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Jelani QU, Mena-Hurtado C, Burg M, et al. Relationship between depressive symptoms and health status in peripheral artery disease: Role of sex differences. J Am Heart Assoc. 2020;9(16):e014583. doi:10.1161/JAHA.119.014583

This article originally appeared on The Cardiology Advisor