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Coronary Heart Disease Not a Cheery Condition
Date:7/14/2008

CDC survey found heart patients report lower quality of life, poorer outlook

MONDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- A diagnosis of heart disease darkens a person's outlook on life, a new government study finds.

Adults with cardiovascular trouble scored up to 9 percent lower on four scales measuring their quality of life, according to a report in the July 15 issue of Circulation, from researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It's not a surprising finding, but it's a necessary study, said Dr. Jipan Xie, who spearheaded the research while a health scientist at the CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. She has since left the agency.

"We kind of expected it," Xie said. "Chronic heart disease does affect the quality of life, but we wanted to quantify it, so we would have a benchmark for a national evaluation."

It's important to know how people with heart disease view life because more of them are living longer, Xie said. "With more and more people living with coronary heart disease, we need to further assess the quality-of-life aspect of these patients and help them adjust."

It's something that physicians should pay attention to, Xie said. "When physicians see patients and say 'coronary heart disease,' usually they are not paying enough attention to their quality of life, especially the social aspect."

The CDC study had data on 2,091 people with a history of coronary heart disease in a national sample of 37,386 Americans. On average, those with heart disease scored 2.4 percent lower mental health scores, 9 percent lower self-ratings of health, 9.2 percent lower physical health scores, and 4.6 percent lower on scores of health utility, which measures mobility, self-care, physical activity, pain and anxiety.

The people with coronary heart disease most likely to report poorer quality of life were those aged 18 to 49, women, blacks and H
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