Anxiety, depression and stress as risk factors for atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery

Phillip Tully, Jayme Bennetts, Robert Baker, Andrew Mcgavigan, Deborah Turnbull, Helen Winefield

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    47 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: We sought to determine whether preoperative and postoperative anxiety, depression, and stress symptoms were associated with atrial fibrillation (AF) after cardiac surgery. Methods: Two hundred and twenty-six cardiac surgery patients completed measures of depression, anxiety, and general stress before surgery, and 222 patients completed these measures after surgery. The outcome variable was new-onset AF, confirmed before the median day of discharge (day 5) after cardiac surgery during the index hospitalization. Results: Fifty-six (24.8%) patients manifested incident AF, and they spent more days in hospital (mean [M], 7.3; standard deviation [SD], 4.6) than patients without AF (M, 5.5; SD, 1.4; P < .001). No baseline psychological predictors were associated with AF. When postoperative distress measures were considered, anxiety was associated with increased odds of AF (odds ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval, 1.00 to 1.18; P = .05). This analysis also showed that age was significantly associated with AF (odds ratio, 1.07; 95% confidence interval, 1.03 to 1.12; P < .001). Analyses specific to the symptomatic expression of anxiety indicated that somatic (ie, autonomic arousal) and cognitive-affective (ie, subjective experiences of anxious affect) symptoms were associated with incident AF. Conclusion: Anxiety symptoms in the postoperative period were associated with AF. Hospital staff in acute cardiac care and cardiac rehabilitation settings should observe anxiety as related to AF after cardiac surgery. It is not clear how anxious cognitions influence the experience of AF symptoms, and whether symptoms of anxiety commonly precede AF.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4-11
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Critical Care
    Volume40
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

    Keywords

    • Anxiety
    • Arrhythmia
    • Atrial fibrillation
    • Coronary artery bypass graft
    • Depression
    • Electrocardiogram

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Anxiety, depression and stress as risk factors for atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this