Objective: The prevalence of cardiovascular disease in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries has been steadily rising. Depression has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality in patients with cardiovascular disease. Against this background, the authors compared the co-occurrence of depressive illnesses among general hospital inpatients with cardiovascular disease and those without cardiovascular disease.
Method: Psychiatric and non-psychiatric diagnoses on all inpatients referred to the consultationliaison psychiatry service at a general hospital in Jamaica were recorded over a one-year period and analysed using chi-square, t-tests, binary logistic regression and odds ratio. Statistical significance was taken at the 0.05 level.
Results: Of the 201 patients referred, 17.9% had cardiovascular disease and 19.9% had depressive illnesses. One third of patients with cardiovascular disease were depressed. They were also significantly more likely than other patients to have a depressive illness (OR = 2.93, 95% CI: 1.25, 6.85).
Conclusion: Special attention to the prevention, detection and treatment of depression should be applied to patients with cardiovascular disease.