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o Explain to patients that depression is a common comorbidity among heart failure patients and this large record review suggests a need to alert them to need to seek treatment.

o This study was published as an abstract and presented orally at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary as they have not yet been reviewed and published in a peer-reviewed publication.

NEW ORLEANS, March 25 -- Heart failure patients who develop clinical depression have a significantly worse survival than those who are not depressed, according to a large Italian record review.

The retrospective review of records of 18,623 heart failure patients found that the 12.3% also diagnosed with depression had an adjusted annual risk of death that was 28% higher than for those not depressed (HR=1.28, 95% confidence interval 1.12-1.47, P<0.0001), reported Aldo Maggioni, M.D., of the Conzorio Mario Negri Sud in Florence.

Moreover, he said at the American College of Cardiology meeting here, a diagnosis of depression increased the risk of dying from heart failure by 23% (P<0.0001) even if the patient was free of heart attacks, strokes or re-hospitalization for heart failure.

"Depression independently worsens major outcomes, including all-cause mortality and the composite of stroke, heart attack, and all-cause hospitalization," he said. "Among community patients with chronic heart failure, depression is a relatively frequent comorbid condition."

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