Background Emotional distress, symptoms of depression and anxiety, is common among patients after a myocardial infarction (MI), and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity. Real world population data on factors associated with emotional distress in MI patients are scarce. The aim was to determine factors associated with incident emotional distress two and 12 months post MI respectively, and with persistent emotional distress, versus remittent, in patients <75 years old. Design This was a registry-based observational study. Methods Data from the national SWEDEHEART registry on 27,267 consecutive patients with a first-time MI, followed up at two and 12 months post MI ( n = 22,911), were included in the analyses. Emotional distress was assessed with the EuroQol-5D questionnaire. Several candidate sociodemographic and clinical factors were analysed for their association with emotional distress in multivariate models. Results Symptoms of emotional distress were prevalent in 38% and 33% at two and 12 months post MI respectively. At both time-points, previous depression and/or anxiety, readmission for new cardiovascular event, female gender, younger age, born outside the neighbouring Nordic countries, smoking and being neither employed nor retired showed the strongest associations with emotional distress. Other factors related to medical history, the MI and its care or were only modestly associated with emotional distress. Persistent emotional distress was associated with younger age, female gender, smoking and being born outside of the Nordic countries. Conclusion Previous depression/anxiety, female gender, younger age, smoking, born outside of the Nordic countries, neither employed nor retired and readmission due to cardiovascular events were strongly associated with emotional distress post MI. These factors may be of relevance in tailoring rehabilitation programmes.
Keywords: Depression; anxiety; myocardial infarction; psychosocial.