WASHINGTON, D.C. — A history of depression was a significant risk factor for developing sternal wound infections after cardiothoracic surgery, according to new data presented here.
Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center identified 129 patients who developed a surgical site infection after surgery between 2007 and 2012. These patients were matched by date of surgery with randomly selected controls who did not develop infection. A patient’s history of depression was determined using several methods, including a review of medical records, a preoperative screen, or evidence of antidepressant use within the past year.
One year before surgery, 22.5% of patients who developed an infection had evidence of depression vs. 11.9% of controls. Results indicated that depression doubled the risk for postoperative infection (adjusted OR=2.2; 95% CI, 1.1-3.9). Other risk factors for sternal wound infections included intra-aortic balloon pump use (adjusted OR=4.4; 95% CI, 1.1-18), bilateral internal mammary artery use (adjusted OR=2.7; 95% CI, 1.5-4.9), obesity (adjusted OR=1.8; 95% CI, 1.1-2.8) and heart failure (adjusted OR=1.8; 95% CI, 1.1-2.8).
According to the researchers, the finding has serious implications because up to 20% of patients who undergo bypass grafting are affected by depression.
“It is a common and modifiable condition,” they wrote in the abstract. “Future studies are required to determine whether identification and effective treatment of depression reduces the incidence and consequences of [sternal wound infection].”
For more information:
Theodore DA. Abstract 144 A. Presented at: Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy; Sept. 5-9, 2014; Washington, D.C.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.