(dailyRx News) Women are commonly affected by depression more often, and more severely when it hits. However, it appears to be men who suffer a greater emotional toil when it comes to a diagnosis of heart failure.
Men with heart failure are more likely to be affected by depression and report experiencing a poor quality of life as compared to women with heart failure, or individuals of either gender without heart failure.
Rory Hachamovitch, MD, MSc, of Cleveland Clinic's Heart and Vascular Institute, sought to understand the emotional impact of heart failure, especially since depression and perceived quality of life in heart failure patients has not been well studied.
Over a one-year period researchers screened 3,046 patients referred to a medical center for a cardiovascular assessment between 2010 and 2011. In addition, clinicians gave them a standard depression test and asked them to complete a questionnaire regarding their quality of life.
Investigators then analyzed the findings by gender and heart failure diagnosis. Of the patients, 39 percent were women, and 9 percent were diagnosed with heart failure.
In all patients, including those without heart failure, researchers found that women more frequently suffered from depression.
They found that, in general, 14 percent of women and 8.9 percent of men suffered from minor and major depression.
Among women who had heart failure, 22 percent suffered from depression, compared to 9.6 percent of men.
Lower quality of life scores were reported by the women, regardless of whether they had heart failure.
However, the difference in depression and quality of life scores was more than double for men with heart failure as compared to all other patients.
Quality of life scores were lower for women with heart failure as opposed to those without though the difference was significantly smaller.
The research was presented Friday at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.