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
JAN 01, 2021
Cardiology
Blood Vessel Damage Caused by COVID-19 Disrupts Brain
JAN 01, 2021
Blood Vessel Damage Caused by COVID-19 Disrupts Brain
Scientists have been trying to determine if the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects brain cells directly, or if the virus severely ...
JAN 14, 2021
Cardiology
Cortisol in Your Hair Could Predict Your Risk of Heart Attack
JAN 14, 2021
Cortisol in Your Hair Could Predict Your Risk of Heart Attack
The everyday tracking of health has become far easier these days with the advent of fitness watches and other technology ...
FEB 18, 2021
Cardiology
Ongoing Heart Problems in Discharged COVID-19 Patients
FEB 18, 2021
Ongoing Heart Problems in Discharged COVID-19 Patients
About 50 percent of patients that are discharged from the hospital after recovering from a severe case of COVID-19 who e ...
JUN 29, 2021
Cancer
Heart Failure Linked to Increased Cancer Risk
JUN 29, 2021
Heart Failure Linked to Increased Cancer Risk
A study by researchers in Germany suggests that patients with heart failure are more likely to develop cancer than those ...
JUL 19, 2021
Cardiology
Immune Proteins & Blood Clots May be Connected to Psychosis Development
JUL 19, 2021
Immune Proteins & Blood Clots May be Connected to Psychosis Development
Researchers are pointing out the associations between blood clotting disruptions and the front line immune system, and t ...
JUL 30, 2021
Cardiology
Just a Bit of Breastfeeding Can Give Kids a Cardiac Benefit
JUL 30, 2021
Just a Bit of Breastfeeding Can Give Kids a Cardiac Benefit
Researchers wanted to know more about how long it would take for breastfeeding to have a positive impact.
Loading Comments...