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Poor Social Network Adds Health Risks Across Cardiac Diagnoses

MONDAY, June 11, 2018 -- Having no one to talk to is associated with worse self-rated mental and physical health, anxiety, and depression among patients with cardiac diagnoses, according to a study presented at EuroHeartCare 2018, the European Society of Cardiology's annual nursing congress, held from June 7 to 9 in Dublin.

Anne Vinggaard Christensen, from The Heart Centre at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues reviewed responses for 13,463 patients with ischemic heart disease, arrhythmia, heart valve disease, and heart failure to the Short Form-12 and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Patients were also asked whether they had someone to talk to when necessary.

The researchers found that among men and women and in all diagnostic groups, having no one to talk to was associated with poor outcomes. Among women with arrhythmia, those who lacked someone to talk to had 12-point lower mental component scores than those who had someone to talk to. Six-point lower physical component scores were reported for men with heart valve disease who lacked someone to talk to versus those who had someone to talk to. Among women with heart failure, those who lacked someone to talk to were significantly more likely to have a HADS-A score >8 versus those who had someone to talk to.

"We live in a time when loneliness is more present and health providers should take this into account when assessing risk," Vinggaard Christensen said in a statement.

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Posted: June 2018