A recent study from theÂ University of Alberta and McGill UniversityÂ shows that women who have suffered heart attacks have higher rates ofÂ lingering symtoms of depression compared to their maleÂ counterparts.
The findings are a concern because depression and heart failureÂ can increase mortality, hospitalization, health care costs, decrease functional capacity and furtherÂ affect quality of lifeÂ Â The researchers suggest that women may either have a different response to the treatment following a heart attack, or theyÂ construe the experience differently. Past researchÂ demonstrates that women use different coping strategies than men.
The study alsoÂ noted, that theÂ evidence suggestedÂ that womenÂ were less likely to be referred to, orÂ attended cardiac rehabilitation and therefore they do not have access to the support and assistance in making the lifestyle changes that are necessary for recovery after a heart attack.
Depression is more common in women than men, this studyÂ recomends women should be routinely screened for depression as part of aÂ generalÂ health assessment when being admitted to hospital following heart-related events.
Results of the study, which was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research and GENESIS, an Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement (ICE) Teams grant program supported by the CIHR and the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation were published recently in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.