Abstract 3021: Fatigue as a symptom of Acute Myocardial Infarction
Purpose: Fatigue may be a commonly experienced symptom of acute myocardial infarction (AMI); however, there is a disturbing lack of data about the fatigue that occurs among men and women at the time of AMI. The purpose of this study was to characterize the fatigue experienced among men and women during AMI using three validated fatigue questionnaires.
Method: Ninety AMI patients were recruited from six Midwestern hospitals. The Profile of Mood States (POMS), Fatigue Severity Index (FSI), and the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) were completed by each hemodynamically stable subject.
Results: The sample included 76% men (mean age = 61, SD = 10), 24% women (mean age = 59, SD = 13); 78% non-Hispanic white. Subjects scored 1.7 on the POMS fatigue subscale (0 = none, 4 = extremely), 47.3 on the SF-36 vitality subscale (0 = most, 100 = least), and 6.4 on the “most fatigued” item of the FSI (0 = not fatigued at all, 10 = as fatigued as I could be). Scores from AMI subjects were compared to published scores in other populations. Compared to older adult male subjects, AMI subjects had higher levels of fatigue on the POMS fatigue subscale (M = 0.71, t = 7.2, p < 0.001) and the SF-36 vitality subscale (M = 51.0, t = 2.85, p < 0.01). In addition, AMI patients were more fatigued on the “most fatigued” item of the FSI compared to cancer patients in active treatment (M = 5.5, t = 2.28, p = 0.05). Men and women reported similar levels of fatigue across all three measures; however, women reported that fatigue caused more disruption of activities of daily living (p < 0.001), more difficulty with physical activities (p < 0.01), poorer rating of general health (p < 0.05), and more interference with social activities (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: To date, fatigue as a symptom of AMI has focused on using qualitative methods in women. This study used three well-established measures of fatigue to demonstrate that fatigue is commonly experienced by both men and women and at levels that are higher than a healthy older adult sample and cancer patients. Interestingly, fatigue had a greater negative impact on women’s lives.