The Impact of Comorbid Depression on Educational Inequality in Survival after Acute Coronary Syndrome in a Cohort of 83 062 Patients and a Matched Reference Population

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BACKGROUND: Patients with low socioeconomic position have higher rates of mortality after diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), but little is known about the mechanisms behind this social inequality. The aim of the present study was to examine whether any educational inequality in survival after ACS was influenced by comorbid conditions including depression.

METHODS: From 2001 to 2009 all first-time ACS patients were identified in the Danish National Patient Registry. This cohort of 83 062 ACS patients and a matched reference population were followed for incident depression and mortality until December 2012 by linkage to person, patients and prescription registries. Educational status was defined at study entry and the impact of potential confounders and mediators (age, gender, cohabitation status, somatic comorbidity and depression) on the relation between education and mortality were identified by drawing a directed acyclic graph and analysed using multiple Cox regression analyses.

FINDINGS: During follow-up, 29 583(35.6%) of ACS patients and 19 105(22.9%) of the reference population died. Cox regression analyses showed an increased mortality in the lowest educated compared to those with high education in both ACS patients and the reference population. Adjustment for previous and incident depression or other covariables only attenuated the relations slightly. This pattern of associations was seen for mortality after 30 days, 1 year and during total follow-up.

CONCLUSION: In this study the relative excess mortality rate in lower educated ACS patients was comparable with the excess risk associated with low education in the background population. This educational inequality in survival remained after adjustment for somatic comorbidity and depression.

TidsskriftPloS one
Sider (fra-til)1-11
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 29 okt. 2015

ID: 154183790