BackgroundWe compared the incidence of depression, defined by a Geriatric Depression Score (GDS) ≥6, between people with versus without peripheral artery disease (PAD). We determined whether depressive symptoms were associated with increased mortality in people with and without PAD.
Methods and resultsNine hundred and fifty-one PAD patients and 478 non-PAD patients were recruited from Chicago medical centers and followed prospectively. At baseline and annually, participants completed the GDS (0-15 scale, score ≥6=depression) and 6-minute walk. Cause of death was confirmed with death certificates. The prevalence of a GDS ≥6 at baseline was 186/951 (19.6%) among PAD versus 63/478 (13.2%) among non-PAD participants (P=0.003). During a mean follow-up of 2.7±1.2 years, 122/712 (17.1%) of participants with PAD versus 51/403 (12.7%) without PAD developed a GDS ≥6 (P=0.047). Adjusting for age, sex, race, comorbidities, and other confounders, PAD participants had an increased rate of developing a GDS ≥6 compared to non-PAD participants (hazard ratio=1.54 (95% CI=1.05-2.25, P=0.026). This association was not statistically significant after adjusting for 6-minute walk (P=0.258). Among PAD participants, a baseline GDS ≥6 was associated with increased all-cause mortality, adjusting for confounders (hazard ratio=1.57, 95% CI=1.12-2.21, P=0.009). This association was not significant after adjusting for 6-minute walk (P=0.224).
ConclusionsPeople with PAD have a higher incidence of depressive symptoms than people without PAD. In PAD, depressive symptoms are associated with increased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. These associations are explained in part by poorer 6-minute walk among people with PAD and among depressed people with PAD, respectively.