Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Even Mild Depression Shortens Your Life

Emotional health may play a far greater role in the long-term survival of patients suffering from chronic heart failure, according to a new study that compared the mortality rates of patients based on a common screening test for depression. So much so, even patients considered to be in a sub-depressive state can also increase their risk of death. The results of this study were published in the March 9, 2005 edition of Science Blog.

Scientists tracked the progress of more than 1,000 cardiac patients who were screened for depression during their hospital stay using Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI), then followed them for seven years to determine if there was a correlation between test scores and mortality rates. Researchers hope these results will spur doctors to pay far closer attention to their patients' psychological states, along with their physical conditions.

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