Navigation Links
Study suggests sensitivity to bodily symptoms of anxiety may make a difference in treatment
Date:10/24/2010

Montreal − Levels of anxiety sensitivity may be important in choosing medical treatment for patients with heart failure and atrial fibrillation (AF), Montreal Heart Institute researchers today told the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Heart and Stroke Foundation researcher and lead author Nancy Frasure-Smith, PhD explained that anxiety sensitivity is the degree to which a person is frightened by bodily sensations and symptoms, particularly those associated with anxiety.

"For most people, sweaty palms and an increasing heart rate are simply unpleasant symptoms that occur in stressful situations, for others these same symptoms are interpreted as a sign of impending doom," says Dr. Frasure-Smith. "People with high anxiety sensitivity tend to magnify the potential consequences of their anxiety symptoms, leading to an increase in anxiety and its symptoms in a spiralling increase of fear and worry."

While anxiety sensitivity is known to predict the occurrence of panic attacks in cardiac and non-cardiac patients, and is associated with greater symptom preoccupation and worse quality of life in patients with AF, it has not been previously studied as a predictor of cardiac outcomes.

These results are based on a sub-study from the Atrial Fibrillation and Congestive Heart Failure Trial (AF-CHF), a randomized trial of rhythm versus rate control treatment strategies whose results were presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2008. AF-CHF, which was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, was directed by Dr. Denis Roy, cardiologist at the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) and vice-dean of the Universit de Montral's faculty of medicine.

Prior to randomization 933 AF-CHF study participants completed a paper and pencil measure of anxiety sensitivity. They were then randomly placed in one of two treatment groups: a 'rhythm' group that was treated with anti-arrhythmic medication and cardioversion (an electric shock to convert an abnormal heart rhythm back to normal rhythm); and a 'rate' group that received medication to help keep people's heart rates within a certain range.

Participants were followed for an average of 37 months. Results showed that, as in the overall AF-CHF trial, the majority of patients had as good a prognosis with the rate control strategy as with the rhythm control approach. In contrast, patients with high anxiety sensitivity had significantly better outcomes if they were treated with the more complicated rhythm control strategy.

"Increased emotional responses to AF symptoms in people with high anxiety sensitivity may lead to increased levels of stress hormones making them more vulnerable to fatal arrhythmias and worsening heart failure," says Dr. Frasure-Smith, a researcher at the MHI, adjunct professor of psychiatry at University of Montreal and professor of psychiatry at McGill University.

"For AF-CHF patients with high anxiety sensitivity maintenance of normal sinus rhythm appears to be important."

AF is a common type of heart arrhythmia which affects approximately a quarter of a million Canadians, including up to forty percent of individuals with congestive heart failure.

During AF the upper chamber of the heart (the atria) beats irregularly and very rapidly. Patients may experience palpitations, shortness of breath or chest pain. While by itself AF is usually not fatal, it increases the chances of heart failure and stroke. When AF and heart failure occur together, there is an increased risk of fatal outcomes, so finding the best treatment for each patient is extremely important.

"While the study − a sub analysis of a larger trial is not definitive in itself, it does raise interesting questions," says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson. We tend to underestimate the power of the mind in patients on powerful heart medications. Mental well being however is an important aspect of care for all heart patients."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jane-Diane Fraser
jfraser@hsf.ca
613-569-4361 x273
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... for mental health professionals, announced today its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. ... solutions to the network of the Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, ... of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, ... the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, ... work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a ... Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at ... returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may ... to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To ... for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 26, 2016 ... care operating models within the health care industry is ... financial efficiency , Deloitte offers a suite of ... business issues impacting efficient cost optimization: labor resource analysis, ... These services facilitate better outcomes and better economics ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ("Collagen Matrix") ... manufacturing of collagen and mineral based medical devices ... Bill Messer has joined the company ... leverage the growing portfolio of oral surgery, neurosurgery, ... Bill joins the Collagen Matrix executive team as ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016   Bay Area Lyme Foundation , ... Center for Tick Borne Illness , Harvard Medical ... Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, and the ... five finalists of Lyme Innovation , the ... 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors from ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: