Approximately 20% of older adults with cardiovascular disease (CVD) experience significant depression. Further, in a pattern consistent with the general adult population, women with CVD have double the rates of depression compared to men. Among older men and women with CVD, depression is associated with poorer cardiac outcomes, although patterns of depressive symptoms appear to differ between men and women. Treatment approaches include traditional modalities, namely psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. Additional recommendations involve emphasizing adherence to prescribed medical and behavioural health regimens, fostering social support, and increasing referrals to cardiac rehabilitation programs as medically appropriate.
Key words: depression, gender differences, cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, mortality.
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