Background: The aim of the study was to determine the clinical and sociodemographic factors related to the physical and mental components of the health-related quality of life (HRQL) in coronary patients.
Methods: We studied 132 patients diagnosed with Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) and unstable angina admitted to a cardiology unit over a period of 18 months. The HRQL was assessed with the Short Form 36 Health Questionnaire (SF-36) and the presence of possible mental disorders was measured using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28). In order to study the variables related to both physical and mental summary components of the SF-36, two multiple linear regression models were constructed with the physical (PCS) and the mental component summary (MCS) as outcome variables.
Results: The GHQ-28 score > or = 6 was the variable most associated with the lowest PCS in the patients studied. Moreover in the patients with a personal history of coronary heart disease (CHD), age tended to increase the PCS of the HRQL, whereas in those with no such history, age diminished the PCS score. For the MCS, not being married, being of female sex, having GHQ-28 scores > or = 6 and being of younger age were the four variables most related to the lowest MCS score in the patients studied.
Conclusion: Age, sex, marital status, personal history of CHD and the presence of a possible mental disorder were the factors most related to HRQL in the coronary patients studied. Focusing medical attention on these groups could contribute to improving their quality of life.