Objectives: We tested whether improvements in depressive symptoms precede improved adherence to aspirin in patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS). Background: Depression is associated with medication nonadherence in patients with ACS, but it is unclear whether changes in depression impact on adherence. Methods: Electronic medication monitoring was used to measure adherence to aspirin during a 3-month period in a consecutive cohort of 172 patients (25 to 85 years) recruited within 1 week of hospitalization for ACS. Depressive symptom severity was assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) during hospitalization and at 1 and 3 months after hospitalization. Adherence was defined as the percentage of days aspirin was taken as prescribed. Results: Depression severity in hospital was associated with nonadherence in a gradient fashion: 15% of non-depressed patients (BDI score 0 to 4), 29% of mildly depressed patients (BDI score 10 to 16), and 37% of patients with moderately-to-severely depressive symptoms (BDI score >16) took aspirin less than 80% of the time (p = 0.03). A cross-lagged path analytic model revealed that improvements in depressive symptoms in the first month after the ACS were associated with improvements in adherence rates in the subsequent 2 months (standardized direct effect -0.32, p = 0.016). Conclusions: Diagnosis and treatment of depressive symptoms may improve medication adherence in patients after ACS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine