(HealthDay News) – Patients with depression are significantly more likely to have peripheral artery disease (PAD) and to have a PAD-related event.

Marlene Grenon, MD, from the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues investigated the association between depression and PAD using data from 1,024 men and women with coronary artery disease, recruited in 2000–2002. The validated nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire was used to evaluate depression at baseline, and PAD was determined by self-report. Participants were followed for a mean of 7.2 years; <5% of the participant group was lost to follow-up.

At baseline, the researchers found that depression affected 19% of patients. Prevalent PAD was reported by 12.1 and 7.3% of patients with and without depression, respectively (age-adjusted odds ratio, 1.79; P=0.03). After adjusting for age, >5% of the correlation between prevalent PAD and depression was accounted for by each of the following: physical inactivity, diabetes, and C-reactive protein level. During follow-up, PAD events occurred in 9 and 6% of those with and without depression, respectively (age-adjusted hazard ratio, 1.77; P=0.04). More than 5% of this association was explained by each of the following: inactivity, diabetes, prevalent PAD, race/ethnicity, smoking, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels.

“Depression is an important risk factor for the development of PAD,” the authors write. “This study emphasizes the importance of depression screening and treatment in patients with PAD.”

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