Heart Health

03 August 2007

PAD predicts depression

Patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD), and who have a tendency to experience negative feelings without sharing them with others, are at increased risk for depression

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Patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) who have a type-D personality - that is, a tendency to experience negative feelings without sharing them with others - are at increased risk for impaired quality of life and depression, regardless of the severity of PAD, research shows.

"It is important to account for personality when evaluating patient-based outcomes in the context of PAD," conclude researchers from the Netherlands in the July issue of Archives of Surgery. PAD develops from a build up of plaque inside the walls of the arteries outside of the heart area, causing poor circulation, typically affecting the legs, causing pain and swelling.

Dr Annelies E. Aquarius from Tilburg University and colleagues had 150 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed PAD complete the Type-D Personality Scale. The researchers then assessed quality of life and depressive symptoms at the beginning of the study after 6-months follow up.

According to the team, indicators of PAD severity did not predict reduced quality of life or depressive symptoms at the follow-up visit.

In contrast, type-D personality predicted poor physical health, decreased level of independence, and poor overall quality of life after consideration of special risk factors.

Type-D personality also independently predicted a greater than 8-fold risk of depressive symptoms.

These findings, the authors conclude, "demonstrate the need to study risk factors that may predict poor quality of life and depressive symptoms in patients with PAD above and beyond traditional (indications) of disease severity. - (Reuters Health)

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