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April 13, 1994

Depression and Survival Following Myocardial Infarction

Author Affiliations

College of Medicine Pennsylvania State University Hershey

JAMA. 1994;271(14):1081. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510380036029

To the Editor.  —The most obvious implication from the study by Frasure-Smith et al1 was that to treat depression in the post-MI patient the clinician needs to know how to recognize depression. If further studies show that intervening and treating the depression help to lessen the increased mortality associated with it, then clearly recognition and diagnosis become very important. Screening for depression could have the same mortality implications as some of the present tests such as checking laboratory parameters, low-level stress testing, and other measures that are routinely performed.The literature is full of articles showing how depression is underdiagnosed, even by family physicians who have been trained in the recognition of this common problem. How are subspecialists whose training devoted little or no time to the recognition and treatment of depression going to diagnose this problem? Should they routinely administer some type of a rating scale such as

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