Heart patients may live longer, but not happier: study

July 15th, 2008 - 10:56 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 15 (IANS) Better therapy might have given a new lease of life to coronary heart disease patients but the quality of those extra years may have been compromised, according to a study. Compared with normal adults, those with coronary heart disease (CHD) scored up to nine percent lower on four scales measuring “quality of life”.

CHD patients were more likely to say they had poorer quality of life or describe themselves as sick, said the study’s co-author Jipan Xie, a former health scientist at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Quality of life, which includes physical, psychological and social functioning, besides overall satisfaction and perceptions of health status, can be used to measure effectiveness of treatment and predict long-term mortality after a cardiac event.

Those most likely to report poorer quality of life in this study were those aged between 18 to 49 years. The age-related difference, Xie said, probably reflects a difference in age-related expectations.

“Younger people may feel more pressure - especially younger men - in the workplace and may be more threatened by limitations imposed by their disease,” she said.

Older people, especially those above 65, were less likely to say heart disease limited their life or had an adverse effect on their quality of life.

With limited resources, such interventions should be targeted at those populations revealed to be most vulnerable - especially younger adults, she said.

On average, CHD patients had 2.4 percent lower mental health scoresl; 4.6 percent lower health utility scores - which measured mobility, self-care, usual activity, pain and anxiety; nine percent lower self-ratings of health and 9.2 percent lower physical health scores.

The findings of the analysis have been published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.

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