Introduction: Depression is associated with cardiovascular diseases. Early detection and intervention for depression among cardiovascular (CV) patients can reduce morbidity and mortality rates. Understanding age and gender differences is necessary to adequately address the complex nature of depression as co-morbidity among Arab CV patients in the Middle East region. Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of depression, to find ways to manage depression among male and female Arab CV patients. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 686 (69%) male and 314 (31%) females Arab CV patients between January, 2013 and March, 2014 at the Heart Hospital in Qatar. Inclusion criteria were ≥20 years of age, agreeing to participate in the study (98% response rate), and having final confirmation of acute cardiac conditions. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using structured survey questionnaires which included an Arabic demographic questionnaire and the Arabic version of the Beck Depression Inventory 2nd Edition. Results: 80% of the patients had no depressive symptoms, 20% of the patients suffered `mild mood disturbance` and clinical depression. Almost twice as many females (28%) than males (17%) were assessed having depression. Chi-square tests indicated that age and socioeconomic factors such as nationality, marital status, monthly income, employment, occupation, financial stress and support were significantly related to gender and depression (p<0.001 for all). Conclusion: Routine systematic screening for depression is recommended for all CV patients, especially for older women group. Although health care services in Qatar are heavily subsidized, socioeconomic factors influence male and female CV patients' mental health differently, thus their CV conditions and outcomes. To effectively manage depression among Arab CV patients, health care providers should be aware and integrate gender differences approach into their clinical practice.


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