For a study, researchers sought to look at the relationship between depression diagnosis and clinically significant depressive symptoms and individual cardiovascular risk factors in primary care patients and the total cardiovascular risk. The design of this study was cross-sectional and retrospective. This study included patients who had a primary care visit between January 2016 and September 2018 and completed depression screening (PHQ-9) within a year of their appointment (N=70,980). Data from the electronic health record were extracted to examine estimated total cardiovascular risk, specific cardiovascular risk factors, and relevant clinical diagnoses (including depression diagnosis). Patients were divided into 3 groups: those with no depression (PHQ-9<10 and no depression diagnosis), those with controlled depression (PHQ-9<10 with previous depression diagnosis), and those with current depression (PHQ-9≥10). The estimated total risk and specific cardiovascular risk factors were compared (e.g., body mass index [BMI], smoking status, lipids, blood pressure, and glucose). Patients with current depression (n=18,267) had significantly higher 10-year and 30-year cardiovascular risk compared to patients with controlled depression (n=33,383; 10-year: b=0.59 [95% CI=0.44,0.74]; 30-year: OR=1.32 [95% CI=1.26,1.39]) and patients without depression (n=19,330; 10-year: b=0.55 [95% CI=0.37,0.73]; 30-year: OR=1.56 [95% CI=1.48,1.65]). Patients with current depression had the highest cardiovascular risk across all risk factors except low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Individuals with depression diagnoses and clinically significant depressive symptoms were at the highest risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Pathways to prevent cardiovascular disease in people suffering from depression could include treating depressive symptoms and specific uncontrolled cardiovascular risk factors.
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