Abstract P319: Improvement in Depressive Symptoms in Elderly Cardiac Patients after Cardiac Rehabilitation
BACKGROUND: Depression effects at least 18% of patients with known coronary artery disease (CAD) and is associated with an increased risk of future cardiac events. There is a strong association between depression and cardiac mortality in patients with known heart disease and these symptoms are very common in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). With the significant prevalence of depression in cardiac patients studies have shown that comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs resulted in beneficial effects on clinical symptomatology and clinical depression in these patients.
HYPOTHESIS: The purpose of this study was to assess the improvement of depressive symptoms using PHQ-9 mood scale among younger patients (≤ 55 years of age) and older patients (≥ 70 years of age) enrolled in the CR program at the Cardiac Health Center (CHC) of New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ).
METHODS: The study sample comprised of 237 participants who were enrolled and completed 36 sessions of CR at the CHC from 2007-2009. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the PHQ-9 prior to admission and upon completion of the CR program. Patients were categorized into two groups in relation to their age as younger patients (≤ 55 years of age) and older patients (≥70 years of age).
RESULTS: Out of 237 patients, 91 patients are ≤55 years of age (38.4%), and 51 patients are ≥ 70 years of age (21.5%). Prior to the start of CR the mood scores of younger patients were 10.11 ± 6.33 and the older patients were 9.00 ± 3.34. After the completion of CR the mood scores of younger patients were 6.11 ± 7.18 and the older patients were 2.94 ± 3.99. Both groups showed significant improvement in their mood scores after CR. Younger patients Δ 4.00 ± 2.16 and elder patients Δ 6.06 ± 1.15.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of the study confirm that CR improves depressive symptoms in both younger and older patients groups. Although both groups started with comparable mood scores, older patients showed significant improvement in mood scores compared to younger patients. Studies have shown improvement in exercise capacity in the elderly population after CR. Elderly patients need to be encouraged to participate in CR programs as improvements in depressive symptoms along with functional capacity after CR translate into a more productive and satisfying lifestyle and improved quality of life.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.