Screening heart patients for depression doesn't help, says study

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Washington, November 12 : Testing cardiac patients for depression does not prove beneficial, reveals a new study.

Researchers at McGill University, Johns Hopkins University and six other institutions across the globe raised doubt on the American Heart Association's insistence on the important link between depression and cardiac care.

As per Dr. Brett Thombs, a psychologist and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill's Faculty of Medicine and at the affiliated Jewish General Hospital, there is not nearly enough medical evidence to support such a "massive, expensive and labour-intensive undertaking."

The study examined a collection of more than 1,500 clinical studies from around the world and after reviewing 17 of these in detail, Dr. Roy Ziegelstein, of Johns Hopkins added screening for depression would not held patients in a cardiac care environment.

Thombs said: "We discovered that screening alone or screening and referral doesn't help most patients. Moreover, we found no connection at all between getting treated for depression and cardiovascular outcomes, like having a subsequent heart attack.

"That said, in no sense are we saying that depression doesn't matter. We're just saying we don't have the tools in cardiovascular care settings to identify and improve the lives of people who aren't already being treated for depression.

The study is to be published in the Nov. 12 special edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

ANI

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