OBJECTIVE: This study compared the Cardiac Depression Scale (CDS) and the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). METHOD: Depression was assessed in 81 participants, 2 weeks post-ACS, using the BDI-II and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. RESULTS: The CDS had a strong concurrent validity with the BDI-II (r=.69). Cross-validation of the BDI-II and the CDS with the structured interview demonstrated the ability of both measures to detect severe symptoms. More patients were classified as depressed using the CDS. The CDS also had a significantly higher correlation with a trait anxiety measure than the BDI-II did. CONCLUSION: The CDS is a more suitable scale for assessing the less severe depressive symptoms typically seen in a cardiac population.