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Greater mortality risk with comorbid coronary heart disease and depressive symptoms either condition alone

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Question: Do depressive symptoms and coronary heart disease (CHD) interact to elevate the risk of death compared with each of these conditions alone?

People: 5936 people with a median age of 61 years at baseline. Initial data were taken from phase 7 (2002–2004) of the British Whitehall II longitudinal study of civil servants. Participants aged 35–55 were originally recruited to the study in 1985. All participants with complete data at phase 7 were included in the analysis.

Setting: UK; 2002–2009.

Risk factors: Depressive symptoms and CHD, separately and as comorbidities. CHD was defined as non-fatal myocardial infarction or clinically confirmed angina based on examinations at phases 1, 3, 5 and 7 of the Whitehall study and review hospital and general practitioner records. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale at phase 7 through interview. Data were also collected on the following covariates: sociodemographics, behavioural risk factors including smoking status, exercise, alcohol consumption, biological factors including blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), heart rate and …

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