Date: 12 Nov 2013

Stress-Induced Cardiomyopathy and Psychological Wellbeing 1 Year After an Acute Event

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Stress cardiomyopathy (SCM) typically presents similar symptoms to acute myocardial infarction (AMI). However, these symptoms differ when it comes to a transient and completely reversible myocardial dysfunction, which is frequently precipitated by acute stressful events, occurring in the absence of plaque rupture and coronary thrombosis. The purpose of this study was to investigate health-related quality of life (HRQL) and emotional burden subsequent to cardiac events in SCM patients. Thirty-seven SCM patients were compared with 37 matched AMI patients. All selected patients were assessed for HRQL and psychological distress at baseline and 1-year after the acute event. After controlling for covariates, scores on the Psychological General Well Being Index indicated that depressed mood had increased in both groups, but the increase for SCM patients was greater than for AMI patients. The AMI group displayed greater decreases than the SCM in physical quality of life and in total cardiac-related health quality of life. The percentage of patients with psychological distress increased significantly more in the SCM group than in the AMI group, and it made no difference whether the triggering event was emotional or physical. Our results suggest that, despite the more favorable medical prognosis of SCM patients, their cardiac condition being transient and resolving completely in few weeks, the psychological impact associated with their condition is more negative 1 year later than in the case of AMI patients whose medical prognosis is less favorable, and this difference is independent of type of trigger event.