NOV 15, 2016 11:14 AM PST

Depressed Heart Disease Patients Find Solace in Rehab

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker
Cardiac rehabilitation following heart surgery is reasonably linked with a reduced risk of death, but this connection is especially important for depressed patients. Depression has long been linked to poor outcomes following cardiovascular surgery, and a new study highlights the life-saving effect of following surgery with rehabilitation.
Source: Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute
"We know the presence of moderate to severe depressive symptoms prior to cardiovascular surgery is a major risk factor for death, but our study shows that if those patients attend cardiac rehabilitation, their risk for death decreases significantly," said lead author Viet Le, MPAS, PA, from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.

Le and his team analyzed information from 118 patients who underwent cardiovascular surgery, examining results from a nine-question survey from before the surgery.

Based on the results from the survey, patients from the study were placed in one of two groups: zero to mild depression or moderate to severe depression. Researchers followed each patient after their surgery to track their health status and connect anything back to their depression status.

After the study was over, just over six percent of patients who responded with zero to mild depression had died, but around 25 percent of the patients who responded with moderate to severe depression had died. For the latter group, attending cardiac rehabilitation significantly reduced their risk of death, by nearly 75 percent.

"We think cardiac rehab helps patients to manage their expectations as they return to work and life," Le said. "This comes from having a support group of fellow patients who may be further along in their rehab, as well as having exercise and activity protocols managed by experienced staff who can encourage consistent follow-up as well as 'slow' an overly enthusiastic patient. Getting patients out of their home after surgery, where they may overthink the effects of the disease, to a place where their job is to heal can enhance not only their physical recovery but their emotional health."

In the future, Le and his team plan on looking for other factors that help reduce the risk of death for depressive patients following heart surgery. For now, it’s clear that rehabilitation is helpful, even life-saving.
 


Source: Intermountain Medical Center
About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
MAR 19, 2020
Cardiology
Gastric Band Helps Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke
MAR 19, 2020
Gastric Band Helps Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke
New research has shown that having bariatric surgery, by means of having a gastric band placed around the stomach to res ...
MAR 25, 2020
Health & Medicine
Boosting Your Immunity to Avoid COVID-19 Infection
MAR 25, 2020
Boosting Your Immunity to Avoid COVID-19 Infection
With the COVID-19 pandemic at the forefront of most people’s minds, you might be wondering what you can do to keep ...
JUN 01, 2020
Cardiology
Most Americans Do Not Adhere to All Recommended Healthy Behaviors
JUN 01, 2020
Most Americans Do Not Adhere to All Recommended Healthy Behaviors
Leading public health institutions, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Dise ...
JUL 21, 2020
Cardiology
Investigating New Anti-Blood Clotting Treatments
JUL 21, 2020
Investigating New Anti-Blood Clotting Treatments
When it comes to your cardiovascular health, it is important to look at more than just your heart. The cardiovascular sy ...
JUL 23, 2020
Cardiology
Protecting the Heart After a Heart Attack
JUL 23, 2020
Protecting the Heart After a Heart Attack
Cardiovascular disease accounts for thirty percent of mortalities around the world. These diseases start small and slowl ...
AUG 01, 2020
Cardiology
Identifying Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Diabetic Cardiomyopathy
AUG 01, 2020
Identifying Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Diabetic Cardiomyopathy
Type 2 diabetes affects millions around the world.  By itself, it prevents your body from properly using sugars fro ...
Loading Comments...