Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Additional cardiac testing vital for patients with anxiety and depression

Date:
November 11, 2010
Source:
Concordia University
Summary:
People affected by anxiety and depression should receive an additional cardiac test when undergoing diagnosis for potential heart problems, according to a new study by researchers in Canada.

People affected by anxiety and depression should receive an additional cardiac test when undergoing diagnosis for potential heart problems, according to a new study from Concordia University, the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Montreal Heart Institute.

As part of this study, published in the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention, a large sample of patients received a traditional electrocardiogram (ECG), where they were connected to electrodes as they exercised on a treadmill. Patients also received a more complex tomography imaging test, which required the injection of a radioactive dye into the bloodstream followed by a nuclear scan to assess whether blood flow to the heart was normal during exercise.

"An ECG is usually reliable for most people, but our study found that people with a history of cardiac illness and affected by anxiety or depression may be falling under the radar," says study co-author Simon Bacon, a professor in the Concordia Department of Exercise Science and a researcher at the Montreal Heart Institute. "Although it is a more costly test, undergoing an additional nuclear scan seems to be more effective at identifying heart disease."

The discovery is significant, because 20 percent of people with cardiac illness also suffer from anxiety or depression. "When prescribing and performing cardiac tests, doctors should be aware of the psychological status of their patients, since it may affect the accuracy of ECG test alone," warns senior researcher Kim Lavoie, a psychology professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal and a researcher at the Montreal Heart Institute.

"ECG tests are not detecting as many heart problems as nuclear tests among many of these patients, particularly those that are depressed, and physicians may be under diagnosing people at risk," adds Professor Lavoie.

Some 2,271 people took part in the study and about half of participants had previously suffered from major heart attacks, bypass surgery or angioplasty. The other half were people exposed to heart disease because of high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure or other risk factors.

The study found that patients with anxiety disorders were younger and more likely to be smokers than patients without anxiety disorders. Participants with anxiety disorders were also less likely to be taking Aspirin or lipid-lowering medication, which can protect against some cardiac events. What's more, 44 percent of participants with anxiety disorders were found to also suffer from major depressive disorders.

"Patients with higher depression scores reported higher fatigue and exertion levels -- effects that may be attributed to depression," says Professor Lavoie.

To ensure heart disease doesn't go undetected, physicians should consider administering a brief questionnaire before conducting ECGs to determine whether patients are highly anxious or depressed. If so, their exercise performance should be carefully monitored. In the event of a negative (i.e., normal) ECG result, doctors may want to refer patients for nuclear testing.

"Our study indicates that detection of heart irregularities during ECGs may be influenced by the presence of mood or anxiety disorders," concludes lead investigator Roxanne Pelletier of the Université du Québec à Montréal and Montreal Heart Institute. "Greater efforts should be made to include routine mood or anxiety disorder screening as part of exercise stress-testing protocols."

The study was funded by the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

The article was written by Roxanne Pelletier and Kim L. Lavoie of the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Montreal Heart Institute; Simon L. Bacon of Concordia University and the Montreal Heart Institute; André Arsenault, Richard P. Fleet and Catherine Laurin of the Montreal Heart Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Concordia University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pelletier, Roxanne; Bacon, Simon L.; Laurin, Catherine; Arsenault, André; Fleet, Richard P.; Lavoie, Kim L. The Impact of Anxiety Disorders on Assessment of Myocardial Ischemia and Exercise Stress Test Performance. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention, 2010; DOI: 10.1097/HCR.0b013e3181ebf2c0

Cite This Page:

Concordia University. "Additional cardiac testing vital for patients with anxiety and depression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101111133215.htm>.
Concordia University. (2010, November 11). Additional cardiac testing vital for patients with anxiety and depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101111133215.htm
Concordia University. "Additional cardiac testing vital for patients with anxiety and depression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101111133215.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) — Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins