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March 3, 2010

Omega-3 Fatty Acids for CHD With Depression

JAMA. 2010;303(9):836. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.190

To the Editor: I am concerned about the choice of the rating scales in the study of omega-3 augmentation of sertraline for patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and depression by Dr Carney and colleagues.1 The main inclusion criterion regarding severity of depression was related to the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) II self-rating scale. Patients with scores of 16 or greater were included. The Montgomery-Asperg depression rating scale may have been more specific for depression in CHD patients, since it takes into account psychological signs and symptoms more than the BDI-II and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) 17 scale,2 which comprise more of the physical symptoms that can also occur in association with a somatic disorder like CHD.