Posted on Mar 06, 2012, 6 a.m.
People who survive a heart attack, but are depressed, face a difficult recovery prognosis.
In that mental well-being contributes to physical health, researchers at Tel Aviv University (Israel) have found that poor mental state can interfere with the heart. Vicki Myers and colleagues studied 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 found to be far more likely to be re-hospitalized later with further cardiac health problems. Patients with a higher depression score spent 14% more time in the hospital than those with a low score. Urging that: “Depressive symptoms, even at the sub-clinical level, should be monitored in post-[myocardial infarction] patients in order to identify those at greater risk of rehospitalization,” the study authors conclude that: “These findings have implications for patients' prognosis and quality of life and for healthcare costs.”
Vicki Myers, Yariv Gerber, Yael Benyamini, Uri Goldbourt, Yaacov Drory. “Post-myocardial infarction depression: Increased hospital admissions and reduced adoption of secondary prevention measures — A longitudinal study.” Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Volume 72, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 5-10.