Cardiac morbidity risk and depression and anxiety: A disorder, symptom and trait analysis among cardiac surgery patients

Phillip Tully, Susanne Pedersen, Helen Winefield, Robert Baker, Deborah Turnbull, Johan Denollet

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    45 Citations (Scopus)


    The aim of this study was to examine depression and anxiety disorders and their characteristic symptoms (anhedonia/low positive affect and anxious arousal, respectively), along with measures of state negative affect (NA) and Type D personality, in relation to cardiac surgery related morbidity. Patients awaiting elective coronary artery bypass graft surgery (n=158; 20.9% female; 11.4% concomitant valve surgery; age M=64.7, SD=10.6) underwent the structured MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview to determine current affective disorders. Patients also completed the Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire and a measure of Type D personality traits. Postoperative cardiac morbidity was confirmed after surgery during the index hospitalization and included stroke,renal failure, ventilation ≥24h, deep sternal wound infection, reoperation, arrhythmia and 30-day mortality at any location (n=59, 37.3% of total). After adjustment for age, recent myocardial infarction, heart failure, hypertension, urgency of surgery and time spent on cardiopulmonary bypass generalized anxiety disorder was associated with cardiac morbidity (odds ratio [OR]=3.26, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.10-9.67, p=0.03). Adjusted analysis of personality traits revealed the NA component of Type D personality was associated with cardiac morbidity (OR=1.07, 95% CI 1.01-1.14, p=0.03). The Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire subscales were not associated with increased morbidity risk. Affective disorders, affective phenotypes, and personality traits were differentially associated with post-cardiac surgery morbidity outcomes independent of cardiac surgery morbidity risk factors. Concurrent investigation of depression and anxiety with respect to cardiac outcomes warrants further research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)333-345
    Number of pages13
    JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2011


    • coronary heart disease
    • generalized anxiety
    • major depression
    • negative affect
    • panic disorder
    • Type D


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