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 Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

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: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>