Abstract 2847: Presence of Spouses Impacts Positively Survival in Patients with Heart Failure Regardless of Presence of Depressive Symptoms
Background: Positive spousal support is associated with improved long-term outcomes in heart failure (HF) patients. Depressive symptoms are a well-known predictor of mortality and morbidity. However, the impact of having a spouse on survival in the context of patient depressive symptoms is unknown.
Purpose: To determine the impact of a spouse on event-free survival in depressed and non-depressed patients.
Methods: Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) in HF patients who were followed for 3-years to collect data on cardiac related mortality and hospitalizations. Patients were grouped into presence and absence of depressive symptom using a cut-point score of 14 on the BDI-II. The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis with a log rank test was used to obtain survival curves for married and non married groups who were stratified by presence or absence of depressive symptoms.
Results: Of a total of 165 patients (68.7% male, 61 years, 62% NYHA class III/IV), 56% were married and 33% had depressive symptoms. Levels of depressive symptom were similar between married and non-married patients (10.9 vs. 12.1, p = 0.39). Married patients experienced longer event-free survival than non-married patients (p< .008). Even with stratification of depressive symptoms groups, married patients experienced longer event-free survival than non-married patients (p = .012).
Conclusion: Regardless of depressive symptoms, patients with a spouse had longer event-free survival than patients without a spouse. Intervention aimed at improving clinical outcomes should identify and reinforce alternative social support networks for non-married patient.