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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2009, Article ID 194528, 8 pages
Research Article

Depression Following Thrombotic Cardiovascular Events in Elderly Medicare Beneficiaries: Risk of Morbidity and Mortality

1Division of Clinical and Outcomes Research, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM 87108, USA
2Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
3Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
4Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
5Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

Received 22 May 2009; Revised 7 August 2009; Accepted 24 September 2009

Academic Editor: John Longhurst

Copyright © 2009 Christopher M. Blanchette 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.


Purpose. Depression and antidepressant use may independently increase the risk of acute myocardial infarction and mortality in adults. However, no studies have looked at the effect of depression on a broader thrombotic event outcome, assessed antidepressant use, or evaluated elderly adults. Methods. A cohort of 7,051 community-dwelling elderly beneficiaries who experienced a thrombotic cardiovascular event (TCE) were pooled from the 1997 to 2002 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey and followed for 12 months. Baseline characteristics, antidepressant utilization, and death were ascertained from the survey, while indexed TCE, recurrent TCE, and depression (within 6 months of indexed TCE) were taken from ICD-9 codes on Medicare claims. Time to death and first recurrent TCE were assessed using descriptive and multivariate statistics. Results. Of the elders with a depression claim, 71.6% had a recurrent TCE and 4.7% died within 12 months of their indexed TCE, compared to 67.6% and 3.9% of those elders without a depression claim. Of the antidepressant users, 72.6% experienced a recurrent TCE and 3.9% died, compared to 73.7% and 4.6% in the subset of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) users. Depression was associated with a shorter time to death ( ) in the unadjusted analysis. However, all adjusted comparisons revealed no effect by depression, antidepressant use, or SSRI use. Conclusions. Depression was not associated with time to death or recurrent TCEs in this study. Antidepressant use, including measures of any antidepressant use and SSRI use, was not associated with shorter time to death or recurrent TCE.