Table of Contents
Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume 2011, Article ID 368324, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Depression Is Associated with Cognitive Dysfunction in Older Adults with Heart Failure

1Department of Psychology, Kent State University, 221 Kent Hall Addition, Kent, OH 44242, USA
2Department of Psychiatry, Summa Health System, Akron, OH 44304, USA
3Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA
4Institute of Gerontology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
5Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA
6Harrington-McLaughlin Heart and Vascular Institute, University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA

Received 25 August 2011; Revised 15 November 2011; Accepted 18 November 2011

Academic Editor: Gjumrakch Aliev

Copyright © 2011 Sarah Garcia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Persons with heart failure (HF) frequently exhibit cognitive impairment with deficits in attention and memory. Depression is common in HF though its possible contribution to cognitive impairment is unknown. Cognitive dysfunction and depression may share common mechanisms in HF, as both are associated with similar abnormalities on neuroimaging. A total of 116 participants with HF ( 6 8 . 5 3 ± 9 . 3 0 years) completed a neuropsychological battery and self-report measures of depression. Regression models showed depression incrementally and independently predicted test performance in all cognitive domains. Follow-up partial correlations revealed that greater depressive symptoms were associated with poorer performance on tests of attention, executive function, psychomotor speed, and language. These results indicate that depressive symptoms are associated with poorer cognitive performance in HF though further work is needed to clarify mechanisms for this association and possible cognitive benefits of treating depression in persons with HF.