Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Taking Depression to Heart

15.02.2012
Depressed heart attack survivors have a harder road to recovery, say TAU researchers
Mental state can play a crucial role in physical health — medical professionals have long known about the connection between anxiety and the immune system, for example. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University have found that mental health can also interfere with the heart.

Heart attack patients who also suffer from depression are more likely to be readmitted for cardiac events and chest pains in the future, and have 14 percent more days of hospitalization than their happier counterparts, says researcher Vicki Myers of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine. Along with Dr. Yariv Gerber and other members of the Israel Study Group of First Acute Myocardial Infarction, Myers examined the association between depressive symptoms in heart attack patients and hospital admissions more than a decade after the initial attack.

These findings have long-term ramifications, says Myers. Spending more time in the hospital, these patients are a massive financial burden on health services, but an investment in extra psychiatric support may have a large positive payoff.

The study was funded by the Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research and has been published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research.

Making better lifestyle choices

Most studies examining the connection between heart attack recovery and mental health have only included short term follow up, says Myers. To study the effect of depression on the long-term health of heart attack patients, the researchers used data collected from 632 heart attack patients under the age of 65 admitted to Israeli hospitals between 1992 and 1993, comparing their recoveries using follow-up data through 2005.

Although a large percentage of people who survive a heart attack will be re-admitted to the hospital at some point, people identified as at least "mildly depressed" during their first hospital stay were far more likely to be re-hospitalized later with further cardiac health problems. Patients with a higher depression score spent 14 percent more time in the hospital than those with a low score. Data were controlled for measures of co-morbidity, including other illnesses and risk factors such as smoking and socioeconomic status.

Making the right choices

Post-heart-attack lifestyle choices played a major role in this relationship, explains Myers. Most heart attack patients are offered rehabilitation services, and are advised to change their lifestyle to include exercise, diet, and smoking cessation programs. Depressed patients are far less likely to avail themselves of rehab services, or elect to make life changes themselves, she says. Overall, depressed patients were 20 percent less likely to be physically active after suffering a heart attack, 26 percent less likely to participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program, and 25 percent less likely to quit smoking.

"The message is that doctors cannot ignore psychological factors in patients who have had a heart attack. Patients who exhibit signs of depression need to be followed more closely, and may need extra help in following lifestyle recommendations. Ignoring this problem weighs heavily on health services," she adds.

George Hunka | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aftau.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope
23.10.2017 | University at Buffalo

nachricht Scientists track ovarian cancers to site of origin: Fallopian tubes
23.10.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>