Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

RCT of stepped-care depression treatment on CV events & death

Does treating depression improve survival and reduce major adverse cardiac events in acute coronary syndrome patients?

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Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

A substantial evidence base now exists showing that depression is associated with a two-fold increased risk of death and recurrent CV events in cardiac patients, leading to a recent AHA scientific statement recommending its elevation to the status of a risk factor for adverse medical outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndrome (Lichtman et al., 2014). Yet there is currently no clinical trial evidence that reducing depression improves cardiac morbidity and mortality. A clinical trial, using new, more effective depression treatment methods, such as collaborative care approaches that combine psychological counseling with medication in stepped-care fashion, is needed to determine whether effective treatment of depression can improve survival and reduce clinical cardiovascular events in cardiac patients.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Newer stepped-care treatments for depression, combining medication and psychotherapy, have recently been developed and found to more effectively reduce depression than earlier treatments. By using these newer treatment methods to substantially lower depression, we can better answer the question as to whether treating the newly acknowledged risk factor of depression in ACS patients can improve clinical outcomes in these patients.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Idea No. 316