Objective: To assess the frequency of symptoms of depression and/or anxiety following acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and to analyse their association with demographic variables.
Design: A cross-sectional analytical, non-interventional hospital based study.
Place and duration of study: The study was carried out at Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), Lahore, from January 2000 to January 2001.
Patients and methods: A total number of 100 inpatients suffering from AMI were studied. After a careful selection of the subjects the Urdu version of Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was administered to each patient during the period of 5-7 days following AMI to assess symptoms of depression and anxiety. A semi-structured clinical interview was also conducted which included demographic information, psychiatric history and other variables. Results were analyzed by using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 8.0).
Results: Out of 100 subjects, 80 (80%) were males and 20 (20%) were females. Their ages ranged from 30-60 years (mean age, 50.92+/-8.53). Overall, symptoms of anxiety and/or depression were found in 50 (50%) patients. More specifically, symptoms of depression were found in 14%, anxiety symptoms in 18% and mixed symptoms (anxiety and depression) in 18% of the patients. Results revealed that patients above 45 years of age (i.e. 46-60 years) were more likely to experience symptoms of depression and/ or anxiety following AMI. A significant association was also found between female sex (p <0.02), lower socioeconomic status (p <0.05) and symptoms of depression and/ or anxiety in these patients. However, no significant association was found in relation to educational status, marital status and origin (urban/rural).
Conclusion: The high proportion of patients with AMI found to be suffering from symptoms of depression and/ or anxiety one week after AMI highlights the essential need to assess these symptoms in all such patients during the post-MI period as they merit appropriate treatment along with the other complications of AMI.