Antidepressant use in patients with heart failure

Kenneth E. Freedland, Brian C. Steinmeyer, Robert M. Carney, Judith A. Skala, Michael W. Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: There is little evidence that antidepressants are efficacious for depression in patients with heart failure (HF), and equivocal evidence that they are safe. This study identified characteristics that are associated with antidepressant use in hospitalized patients with HF. Method: Logistic regression models were used to identify independent correlates of antidepressant use in 400 patients hospitalized with HF between 2014 and 2016. The measure of depression in the primary analysis was a DSM-5 diagnosis based on a structured interview; this was replaced by a PHQ-9 depression score in a secondary analysis. Results: In the primary analysis, there were positive associations between antidepressant use and white race, younger age, unemployment, non-ischemic HF, number of other prescribed medications, current minor depression, history of major depression, and functional impairment. In the secondary analysis, there were positive associations with white race, unemployment, number of other prescribed medications, and functional impairment; the effect of current severity of depression differed between patients with vs. without a history of major depression. Conclusions: Current depression is only one of several factors that influence the use of antidepressant medications in patients with HF. Further research is needed to ensure that these agents are being used appropriately in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Antidepressive agents
  • Depression
  • Depressive disorder
  • Drug utilization
  • Heart failure


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