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Reducing Cardiovascular Risk for Veterans with Diabetes and Depression


Depressed people with diabetes have more cardiovascular risk factors than those without depression, and the interaction of diabetes and depression is problematic because each negatively influences the other. The Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Clinic (CRRC) is an ongoing clinical, multi-disciplinary, disease management program at the Providence VAMC. The CRRC is designed for veterans with multiple cardiovascular risk factors to simultaneously address hyperglycemia, blood pressure, smoking, and hyperlipidemia. This study examined the relationship between responsiveness to the CRRC and depression diagnosis among 231 veterans (195 with no mental health diagnosis; 36 with a depression diagnosis) enrolled in the program between January 2001 and January 2002. Results show veterans with and without a depression diagnosis had a significant improvement in cardiovascular risk reduction after participation in the CRRC program. Veterans with a diagnosis of depression had significantly higher cardiovascular risk than those with no mental health condition, but they had greater improvement after participating in the program – at discharge, their risk was nearly the same as veterans without a mental health condition. These findings indicate that the CRRC program is effective in reducing cardiovascular risk in veterans with diabetes regardless of a diagnosis of depression.

PubMed Logo Pirraglia P, Taveira T, Cohen L, and Wu, W-C. Effectiveness of a multifactorial cardiovascular risk reduction clinic for diabetes patients with depression. Preventing Chronic Disease October 2008;5(4):A127.

This study was funded by HSR&D, including through Dr. Pirraglia’s HSR&D Career Development Award. All authors are part of HSR&D’s Research Enhancement Award Program in Providence, RI.

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What are HSR&D Publication Briefs?

HSR&D requires notification by HSR&D-funded investigators about all articles accepted for publication. These journal articles are reviewed by HSR&D and publication briefs or summaries are written for a select number of articles that are then forwarded to VHA Central Office leadership to keep them informed about important findings or information. Articles to be summarized are selected by HSR&D based on timeliness of the findings, interest of leadership, or potential impact on the organization. Publication briefs are written for only a small number of HSR&D published articles. Visit the HSR&D citations database for a complete listing of HSR&D articles and presentations.