Long-term risk for depressive symptoms after a medical diagnosis.

TitleLong-term risk for depressive symptoms after a medical diagnosis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsPolsky, D, Doshi, JA, Marcus, S, Oslin, D, Rothbard, A, Thomas, N, Thompson, CL
JournalArch Intern Med
Date Published2005 Jun 13
ISSN Number0003-9926
KeywordsChronic disease, Comorbidity, Depressive Disorder, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Risk, Time Factors

BACKGROUND: This study examines the risk of development of significant depressive symptoms after a new diagnosis of cancer, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, chronic lung disease, or stroke.

METHODS: The study used 5 biennial waves (1992-2000) of the Health and Retirement Study to follow a sample of 8387 adults (aged 51 to 61 years and without significant depressive symptoms in 1992) from 1994 to 2000. Time-dependent Cox regression models estimated adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for an episode of significant depressive symptoms after a new diagnosis for each of the 7 medical conditions.

RESULTS: Within 2 years of initial diagnosis, subjects with cancer had the highest hazard of depressive symptoms (HR, 3.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.79-4.52), followed by subjects with chronic lung disease (HR, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.64-2.79) and heart disease (HR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.09-1.93). The hazard for depressive symptoms for most of these diseases decreased over time; however, subjects with heart disease continued to have a higher risk for depressive symptoms even 2 to 4 years and 4 to 8 years after diagnosis, and a significantly higher hazard for depressive symptoms developed for persons with arthritis 2 to 4 years after diagnosis (HR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.11-1.92).

CONCLUSION: The findings identify several high-risk patient groups who might benefit from depression screening and monitoring to improve health outcomes in this vulnerable population facing new medical illnesses.

User Guide Notes


Endnote Keywords

Depressive Symptoms/Disease/Diagnosis

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalArch Intern Med
Citation Key7023
PubMed ID15956005