Poor Mental Health Can Increase Risk Of Subsequent Heart Attacks In Young Survivors

Health News: Young and middle-aged adults with severe mental health issues after suffering a heart attack were more than twice as likely to suffer a second cardiac event within five years when compared to those with mild distress.

Researchers analyzed health outcomes in 283 heart attack survivors between the ages of 18 and 61, with an average age of 51 years. Participants were provided validated questionnaires measuring stress, anxiety, depression within six months of their heart attack.

Based on the participants’ responses, the researchers established a composite score of psychological distress for each participant and grouped patients based on experiences of mild, moderate, and high distress.

The study findings showed that within five years after suffering a heart attack, 80 of the 283 patients suffered a subsequent heart attack or stroke, were hospitalized for heart failure or died from cardiovascular causes. These outcomes occurred in nearly half (47%) of patients experiencing high psychological distress compared to 22% of those experiencing mild distress.

The researchers also tracked inflammatory markers playing a role in increasing cardiovascular risk among people experiencing psychological distress. They found that people with severe psychological distress have higher levels of two inflammatory markers — interleukin-6 and monocyte chemoattract protein-1 — in their blood during rest and after mental stress. These markers increase during times of mental stress and are associated with plaque buildup in the arteries and adverse cardiac events.

The study concludes that ameliorating psychological distress is equally important for people recovering from a heart attack.

To Know More, You May Refer To

American College of Cardiology. (2021, May 6). Mental health may play big role in recovery after a heart attack: Psychological distress found to double the risk of subsequent cardiac events in younger adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 9, 2021 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210506105433.htm

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