Objective: Long-term survival in a sample of cardiology outpatients with and without mental disorders and other psychosocial risk factors.
Methods: In a cardiology outpatient setting, 103 consecutive patients were asked to participate in the study. Of these, 86 were included and screened for mental disorder with the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders; Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R, Non-Patient Edition, psychosis screening; the Clock Drawing Test; and the WHO-5 Well-Being Index. The cardiologists were asked in each patient to rate the severity of somatic disease and mental problems on visual analogue scales (VAS-somatic and VAS-mental). Cardiac diagnosis, noncardiac comorbidity, history of mental disorder, and the number of daily social contacts were noted. Survival was followed for 6 years.
Results: At baseline, 33 (38.4%) patients had mental disorder, 6 dementia, 11 major depression, 6 minor depression, 6 anxiety disorder, 2 unspecified somatoform disorder, 1 alcohol abuse, and 1 psychosis. At 6 years of follow-up, 40 (47%) patients were deceased, 17 (48%) of those with and 23 (46%) of those without mental disorder. In a survival analysis, mortality was significantly predicted by age [hazard ratio (HR), 1.058], WHO-5 (HR, 0.977), the number of social contacts (HR, 0.699), VAS-somatic (HR, 1.016), and cardiac diagnosis (HR, 0.333).
Conclusion: In chronic heart disease, well-being and social support seem related to long-term survival.