Relationship of depression screening in cardiometabolic disease with vascular events and mortality: findings from a large primary care cohort with 4 years follow-up

Bhautesh Dinesh Jani, Charles Boachie, Colin McCowan, Sarah J.E. Barry, Jonathan Cavanagh, Frances S. Mair

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Benefits of routine depression screening for cardiometabolic disease patients remain unclear. We examined the association between depression screening and all-cause mortality and vascular events in cardiometabolic disease patients. Methods and results: 125 143 patients with cardiometabolic diseases (coronary heart disease, diabetes or previous stroke) in the UK participated in primary care chronic disease management in 2008/09, which included depression screening using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Score. 10 670 receiving depression treatment exempted, 35 537 screened, while 78 936 not screened. We studied all-cause mortality and vascular events at 4 years, by electronic data linkage of 124 414 patients (99.4 on primary care registers to hospital discharge and mortality records and used Cox proportional hazards on matched data using propensity score. Mean age for the screened and not screened population was 69 years (standard deviation--SD 11.9) and 67 years (SD 14.3), respectively; 58% (20 658) of the screened population were men and 65.3% (22 726) were socioeconomically deprived, compared with 54.2% (42 727) and 67.4% (51 686), respectively, in the not screened population. The screened population had lower all-cause mortality (Hazard Ratio--HR 0.89) and vascular events (HR 0.85) in the matched data of N = 21 893 patients each in the screened and the unscreened groups. Conclusion: Depression screening was associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality and vascular events in patients with cardiometabolic diseases. The uptake of screening was poor for unknown reasons. Reverse causality and confounding by disease severity and quality of care are important possible limitations. Further research to determine reproducibility and explore underlying mechanisms is merited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-73
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Heart Journal - Quality of Care & Clinical Outcomes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • depression
  • coronary heart disease
  • diabetes mellitus
  • stroke
  • cardiovascular complications

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