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August 14, 2002

Treatment of Depression Following Acute Myocardial Infarction

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Mo (Dr Carney); and Departments of Medicine/Cardiology and Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn (Dr Jaffe).

JAMA. 2002;288(6):750-751. doi:10.1001/jama.288.6.750

Depression is a risk factor for mortality after acute myocardial infarction (MI), and it predicts a slow recovery and a poor quality of life.1-4 Nevertheless, only a minority of patients who are depressed after an MI receive treatment for their depression. In the past, the only available antidepressants had cardiotoxic effects and were contraindicated for many patients with heart disease, particularly older patients at risk for orthostatic hypotension and patients with left bundle branch block.5 Some of the older antidepressants also have proarrhythmic effects.6