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New Anxiety, Depression Common After Receiving Implantable Defibrillator

FRIDAY, May 14, 2021 -- New-onset anxiety and depression are common in the two years following the first-time placement of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), according to a study presented at EHRA 2021, an online scientific congress hosted by the European Society of Cardiology.

Susanne Pedersen, Ph.D., from the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, and colleagues used data from 1,040 patients with a first-time ICD implant (June 2010 to April 2013) without clinical levels of anxiety and depression at the time of implant. During 24 months of follow-up, the incidence of new-onset anxiety and depression was examined.

The researchers found that the cumulative incidence of new-onset anxiety was 14.5 percent during follow-up, while the cumulative incidence of new-onset depression was 11.3 percent. There was an association observed between older age and a reduced risk for new-onset anxiety (hazard ratio [HR], 0.54), while being married (HR, 1.66), type D personality (HR, 2.50), and lower self-reported physical functioning (HR, 1.48) were associated with an increased risk for new-onset anxiety. For new-onset depression, older age (HR, 0.57) and higher self-reported physical functioning (HR, 0.46) were associated with a reduced risk, while smoking (HR, 2.13), type D personality (HR, 2.53), and lower self-reported physical functioning (HR, 1.64) were associated with an increased risk for new-onset depression.

"Most patients adapt well to living with an ICD," Pedersen said in a statement. "For others it completely changes their life, with worries about shocks from the device, body image, and livelihood."

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