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Men More Depressed After Heart Failure

By on May 14, 2012

Men with heart failure report more depression and poorer quality of life than women or men without heart failure according to researchers like Dr. Rory Hachamovitch of Cleveland Clinic’s Heart and Vascular Institute. The study included screening more than 3,300 patients who were referred to their medical center for cardiovascular assessment over a one-year period.

Hachamovitch’s research team scored responses to a standardized depression test and administered a quality-of-life questionnaire.

In general, minor and major depression were more frequent in women than in men — 14% versus 8.9% — and in heart failure patients — 22% versus 9.6%.

Quality-of-life scores were also lower in women and in heart failure patients. Heart failure means the heart cannot pump enough blood through the body. The heart cannot fill with enough blood or pump with enough force, or both. Heart failure develops over time as the pumping action of the heart gets weaker. It can affect either the right, the left, or both sides of the heart.

However, the study found the difference in depression and quality-of-life scores was more than double for men with heart failure, compared to all patients. The findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions in Atlanta.

Heart failure can happen to almost anyone. It is most common in people over 65, and is more common in African-Americans. Also, men have a higher rate of heart failure than women. It is the number one reason for hospitalization for people over age 65. If you or someone you know has experienced heart failure, be sure to monitor their emotional and social status and consider mental health support if needed.

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