New findings presented at EHRA 2021 show that patients who receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) are at a higher risk of anxiety and depression and should be regularly screened.
Study authors explain that most patients adjust well to living with an ICD, but it can be a life-changing experience for some. Worries about shock from the device, concerns about body image and the stress of livelihood in case of job change etc., are some of the reasons why some patients with an ICD might be at risk of mental health issues.
Clinical evidence suggests that patients with ICD who are anxious or depressed have a poor quality of life and an increased risk of arrhythmias and death. In this study, researchers examine how many patients develop anxiety or depression after ICD implantation.
The study included 1,040 patients who completed questionnaires on anxiety, depression, and physical quality of life at baseline, and 3, 6, 12, and 24 months. Findings show that the cumulative incidence of new-onset anxiety over the 24-month follow-up period was 14.5%. The cumulative incidence of depression over the 24-month follow-up period was 11.3%. Greater age was associated with a reduced risk of new-onset anxiety. Being married, having a Type D personality, and lower self-reported physical functioning were also found to be associated with an increased risk.
"Our results suggest that more regular screening for depression and anxiety could identify patients who might benefit from additional support," said Professor Pedersen. "Taken together, our findings indicate that younger patients, those with poor physical function, and those with type D personality are more likely to become anxious or depressed. People with type D personality tend to worry while not sharing negative emotions with others, which may compromise their mental health."
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