Psychiatry Investig.  2019 Nov;16(11):843-851. 10.30773/pi.2019.0259.

Association between Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms and Long-Term Cardiac Outcomes in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome: Effects of Depression Comorbidity and Treatment

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Cardiology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.


The role of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is not well elucidated. This study investigated the association between OCS and the long-term prognosis of ACS in tandem with depression comorbidity and treatment.
A cross-sectional baseline study and a nested 24-week double-blind escitalopram-placebo controlled trial were carried out between May 2007 and March 2013, and then a 5-12-year follow-up for major adverse cardiac events (MACE) was conducted. A total of 1,152 patients with ACS were stratified by baseline depression comorbidity and treatment allocation into four groups: no depression (706 patients), depression and taking escitalopram (149 patients), depression and taking a placebo (151 patients), and depression and receiving medical care as usual (CAU; 146 patients). OCS were evaluated using the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised Obsessive-Compulsive symptom domain. During the follow-up, Kaplan-Meier event rates for MACE outcomes were calculated, and hazard ratios were estimated using Cox regression models after adjusting for a range of covariates.
A higher OCS score at baseline was associated with a worse ACS prognosis after adjusting for relevant covariates and across MACE outcomes. This association varied according to the depression comorbidity. The association was significant in patients without depression and depressive patients receiving placebos and CAU, but not in depressive patients on escitalopram.
Evaluating OCS and depression is recommended during the early phase of ACS. Treatment for OCS may improve the long-term cardiac outcomes of patients with ACS.


Acute coronary syndrome; Obsessive-compulsive disorder; Depression; Longitudinal studies; Treatment outcome
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