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Depressive Symptoms in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Prevalence and Association with Functional Status

Deborah McCollister


Michelle Beutz


Vallerie McLaughlin


John Rumsfeld

Fred Masoudi

Mark Tripputi

T. Yaeger

Philippe Weintraub


David Badesch


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Conference: 2010 International PHA Conference and Scientific Sessions

Release Date: 06.24.2010

Presentation Type: Abstracts

McCollister D1, Beutz M2, McLaughlin V3, Rumsfeld J4, Masoudi F5, Tripputi M1, Yaeger T1, Weintraub P1, Badesch D1
1 University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO, USA 
2 National Jewish Health, Denver, CO, USA 
3 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA 
4 Denver Veterans Administration Hospital, Denver, CO, USA 
5 Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, CO, USA

BACKGROUNDIn patients with left heart disease, depressive symptoms have a significant impact on functional status and quality of life. The prevalence of depressive symptoms, and their impact on patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is understudied. This study investigates the prevalence of depressive symptoms in PAH, and their correlation with physical function.

METHODSConsecutive outpatients with PAH (idiopathic, or associated with scleroderma, congenital heart disease, or anorexigen use) seen in the pulmonary hypertension clinics at the University of Colorado and the University of Michigan were screened. At two outpatient visits, at least 8 and not more than 16 weeks apart, patients completed the PHQ-8, a well-validated instrument for grading severity of depressive symptoms, were assessed for functional class, and performed a 6-minute walk distance test (6MWD).

RESULTS100 patients (88% female, 50% with idiopathic PAH) were enrolled. At baseline, 38% were in FC II, and 62% FC III, and the mean 6MWD was 373m. 15% of subjects had symptoms suggestive of major depressive disorder (PHQ-8 score of >10), 40% had mild-moderate depressive symptoms (PHQ-8 score 4-9), and 45% had no to minimal depressive symptoms (PHQ-8 score 0-3). The baseline 6MWD was lower and FC higher (but the difference was not statistically significant, 342 m vs 378 m; p=0.18) in patients with symptoms suggestive of major depression.

CONCLUSIONSDepression is common in patients with PAH, with 55% demonstrating depressive symptoms. This study suggests that screening patients with PAH will identify a large proportion of patients who might benefit from depression therapy.