The predictive value of depression in the years after heart transplantation for mortality during long-term follow-up
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPsychosomatic Medicine. 2019, 81 (6), 513-520 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000702
Objective Current understanding of the prognostic impact of depression on mortality after heart transplantation (HTx) is limited. We examined whether depression after HTx is a predictor of mortality during extended follow-up. Subsequently, we explored whether different symptom dimensions of depression could be identified and whether they were differentially associated with mortality. Methods Survival analyses were performed in a sample of 141 HTx recipients assessed for depression, measured by self-report of depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory – version 1A [BDI-1A]), at median 5.0 years after HTx, and followed thereafter for survival status for up to 18.6 years. We used uni- and multivariate Cox proportional hazard models to examine the association of clinically significant depression (BDI-1A total score ≥10), as well as the cognitive-affective and the somatic subscales of the BDI-1A (resulting from principal component analysis) with mortality. In the multivariate analyses, we adjusted for relevant sociodemographic and clinical variables. Results Clinically significant depression was a significant predictor of mortality (hazard ratio = 2.088; 95% confidence interval = 1.366–3.192; p = .001). Clinically significant depression also was an independent predictor of mortality in the multivariate analysis (hazard ratio = 1.982; 95% confidence interval = 1.220–3.217; p = .006). The somatic subscale, but not the cognitive-affective subscale, was significantly associated with increased mortality in univariate analyses, whereas neither of the two subscales was an independent predictor of mortality in the multivariate analysis. Conclusions Depression measured by self-report after HTx is associated with increased mortality during extended follow-up. Clinical utility and predictive validity of specific depression components require further study.