-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Heart failure patients'
mental health history and their thinking abilities may influence
whether they're readmitted to the hospital within a month of
discharge, a new study says.
Depression, a history of substance abuse and a history of
coronary artery disease were linked with patients' hospital
admissions during the previous year, the researchers found. Factors
associated with readmission within 30 days of discharge included
memory problems, a history of mental health treatment and/or the
use of an antidepressant.
The severity of congestive heart failure was not a factor in
either admission or readmission rates, according to the study,
which was published online recently in the journal
"Our results agree with several recent studies in finding an adverse impact of depression on admission and readmission rates," lead author Mark Ketterer, a psychologist at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, said in a system news release. "In addition, substance abuse and chronic kidney disease may also adversely impact these rates in congestive heart failure patients."
The study involved 84 patients, average age 66, admitted to
Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit for treatment of acute congestive
"Even severe heart disease, except in the extreme, appears to be manageable after release from the hospital unless it's complicated by one or more of the behavioral factors," Ketterer added.
Perhaps the most important finding is the link between emotional
stress and/or cognitive impairment and early readmission to the
hospital, said Ketterer.
"Both suggest a possible way to predict readmission and avoid it," he said.
Educating patients about their mental illness, and getting
live-in family members to help patients follow their medication
regimen and keep medical appointments may also help reduce hospital
readmissions, the researchers concluded.
"Given both the exorbitant fiscal costs and known health risks of hospitalization, including exposure to drug-resistant infections and medical errors, it could be well worth further study to test our findings," Ketterer said.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more
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