Predictors of depressive symptoms post-acute coronary syndrome

Tasneem Z. Naqvi, Asim M. Rafique, Vonny Andreas, Masoud Rahban, James Mirocha, Syed S.A. Naqvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective: We examined the influence of gender on the prevalence of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and the severity of depressive symptoms post-ACS. Methods: Patients received a Zung self-assessment questionnaire at hospital discharge for unstable angina (UA) or acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and returned it by mail. Major depressive symptoms were diagnosed based on a summed depressive symptoms (SDS) score of >50. Depressive symptomatology was modeled by stepwise multivariable logistic regression with the following predictors: gender, age, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, history of smoking, hypercholesterolemia, peripheral vascular disease, prior stroke, prior myocardial infarction (MI), and prior percutaneous coronary intervention or coronary artery bypass graft surgery. We also modeled severity of depressive symptoms via stepwise multiple linear regression with the same predictor variables. Results: A total of 944 patients were surveyed: 716 men and 228 women, mean (SD) age, 67 (13) years and 71 (12) years, respectively. Of these patients, 250 (35%) men and 103 (45%) women had depressive symptoms (P = 0.005). No significant difference was observed between men and women in rates of cardiac catheterization; severity of coronary artery disease; treatment with antiplatelet agents, β-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or statins; or percutaneous or surgical revascularization rates during or post-ACS. Significant predictors of the presence of depressive symptoms were female gender (odds ratio [OR] = 1.64; 95% CI, 1.19-1.28), diabetes mellitus (OR = 1.42; 95% CI, 1.03-1.97), prior MI (OR = 1.56; 95% CI, 1.15-2.20), and smoking (OR = 1.41; 95% CI, 1.01-1.97). Variables significantly associated with a higher severity of depressive symptoms were female gender, prior MI, smoking, and stroke. Men with prior MI had significantly higher mean (SD) SDS scores than did men without prior MI in all age groups (48.4 [11] vs 44.6 [11], respectively; P < 0.001). In addition, significantly more men with prior MI had depressive symptoms compared with those without prior MI (45% vs 32%; P = 0.001). However, prior MI did not appear to affect SDS scores in women (49.1 [12] for prior MI vs 48.5 [12] for no prior MI; P = NS), and there was no significant difference in the percentage of women who had depressive symptoms with or without a history of prior MI. Depressive symptoms were much more severe in women with UA (SDS = 49.0 [12]) compared with women with AMI (SDS = 45.0 [12]; P = NS), or men with AMI (45.0 [12]; P = 0.004) or UA (46.0 [11]; P = 0.007) (analysis of variance, P = 0.003). Conclusions: Female gender is a significant independent predictor of depressive symptoms and their severity post-UA and post-AMI. History of prior MI is associated with a higher frequency and severity of depressive symptoms in men. These findings call for routine screening for depressive symptoms in men with prior MI and in women who present with ACS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-351
Number of pages13
JournalGender Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • acute coronary syndrome
  • acute myocardial infarction
  • depressive symptoms
  • gender
  • unstable angina,

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies


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