Depressive symptoms in outpatients with heart failure: Importance of inflammatory biomarkers, disease severity and personality

C.J. Brouwers, N. Kupper, A.J.M. Pelle, B.M. Szabó, B.L.W.J.J.M. Westerhuis, J. Denollet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Depressive symptoms are highly prevalent in heart failure (HF) patients, however the underlying etiology of depression in HF patients remains yet unclear. Hence, the goal is to examine the relative importance of inflammation, disease severity and personality as predictors of depression in HF patients. 
Depressive symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, depression subscale) were assessed at baseline and one-year follow-up in 268 HF patients (75.6% men; mean age = 66.7 ± 8.7). Markers of inflammation (TNFα, sTNFr1, sTNFr2, IL-6 and IL-10), disease severity (e.g. New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification) and personality (Type D personality, loneliness) were assessed at baseline. 
At baseline, NYHA class, body mass index, educational level, Type D personality and loneliness were significantly associated with depression. Higher NYHA class (B = 2.25; SE = .83), higher educational level (B = 1.41; SE = .48), Type D personality (B = 2.56; SE = .60) and loneliness (B = .19; SE = .05) were also independently associated with higher depression levels at one-year follow-up (all p-values < .005). Inflammation, brain natriuretic peptide and left ventricular ejection fraction were not related to depression over time. 
Personality factors, but not inflammation, were independent concomitants of depressive symptoms in patients with HF. Gaining more insight into the etiology of depression in HF patients is important in order to identify potential targets for novel interventions.Keywords: depression, heart failure, inflammation, disease severity, personality, predictive theoretical models
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-582
JournalPsychology & Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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