Can Treatment for Depression after a Heart Attack Reduce the Long-Term Risk of Another Cardiac Event?

Bottom Line: Depression has been associated with poorer medical outcomes for patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), including heart attack and unstable angina. This randomized clinical trial of 300 patients in South Korea examined whether antidepressant treatment after ACS improved long-term cardiac outcomes. Patients received either the antidepressant escitalopram or placebo for 24 weeks. After about eight years of follow-up, the antidepressant escitalopram resulted in a lower occurrence of major adverse cardiac events than placebo (40.9 percent vs. 53.6 percent).

Authors: Jae-Min Kim, M.D., Ph.D., Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Republic of Korea, and co-authors

Visual Abstract: This is the link to the abstract when the embargo lifts.

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jama.2018.9422)