Heart Failure Reviews

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 49–63 | Cite as

Depression and anxiety as predictors of mortality among heart failure patients: systematic review and meta-analysis

  • I. Sokoreli
  • J. J. G. de Vries
  • S. C. Pauws
  • E. W. Steyerberg


Several studies suggest that psychological factors are associated with negative outcomes and in particular higher mortality rates among heart failure (HF) patients. We aimed to evaluate the effect sizes of depression and anxiety on all-cause mortality in HF patients. We conducted a systematic review according to the PRISMA methodology. We searched for studies on depression or anxiety effects on all-cause mortality among HF patients published up to June 2015. A number of 26 and 6 articles met inclusion criteria for depression (total 80,627 patients) and anxiety (total 17,214 patients), respectively. The effect estimates were pooled using random-effect meta-analysis. Depression has significant and moderately heterogeneous effect on all-cause mortality (HR = 1.57; 95 %CI 1.30–1.89, p < 0.001); adjustment for confounders led to a similar effect estimate (HR = 1.40; 95 %CI 1.22–1.60; p < 0.001). Larger studies and higher study prevalence of depression were associated with smaller effect size. The effect of anxiety on mortality outcome was small and not conclusive given the low number of studies (n = 6) (HR = 1.02; 95 % CI 1.00–1.04, p < 0.05). This systematic review and meta-analysis suggests that depression is an important and independent predictor of all-cause mortality among HF patients, while anxiety does not appear to have a strong effect. Further research is recommended toward the detection and treatment of depression.


Heart failure Depression Anxiety Mortality Systematic review Meta-analysis 



The authors would like to thank John Dielis from E-Science & Information Management Department, Philips, Eindhoven, for contributing in querying the databases.


IS, JJGV and SCP are employed by Philips Research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

EWS has no conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Sokoreli
    • 1
  • J. J. G. de Vries
    • 1
  • S. C. Pauws
    • 1
  • E. W. Steyerberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Philips Research - HealthcareEindhovenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Public Health, Centre for Medical Decision MakingErasmus MCRotterdamThe Netherlands

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