Anxiety does not up risk of post-surgery delirium: study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older patients often suffer delirium after heart surgery, but this seems to be unrelated to pre-surgery anxiety and depression, according to a new study.

“Delirium is a common psychiatric complication after cardiac surgery,” note Dr. Koen Milisen, of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, and colleagues.

“Special attention” must be paid to delirium after heart surgery, because the syndrome is associated with poor outcomes, including higher rates of post-surgery complications, longer hospital stay, and higher death rates, they say.

In a long-term study involving 104 elderly patients admitted for heart surgery, Milisen’s team found that 27 patients, or 26 percent, suffered postoperative delirium for a median of 2 days.

Before surgery, 56 percent of patients had symptoms consistent with anxiety and 25 percent had generalized anxiety. Overall, a little more than 15 percent of subjects reported pre-surgery depressive symptoms.

According to Milisen and colleagues, there was no association between anxiety or depression before surgery and the occurrence of delirium after surgery.

“Patients and their families have to realize that delirium is a common, serious, but in most cases, a transient problem, as distinguished from dementia,” Milisen said.

“Given that delirium is associated with an increased length of hospitalization, a higher likelihood to be discharged to a nursing home, and a higher mortality risk, health professionals should actively screen for presence of delirium and implement the necessary interventions,” Milisen told Reuters Health.

“Despite its high prevalence, delirium is an underestimated problem within healthcare,” he added. “Given the known impact of delirium on poor outcomes, healthcare professionals would benefit from innovative training programs to learn to adequately manage patients with delirium.”

SOURCE: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, December 2008.


Related Posts:

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Depression, anxiety and certain other mental health conditions are more common among infertile couples than those who are able to conceive on their own, a small study suggests. The findings, say researchers, imply that routine mental health screening could benefit patients being treated for infertility. While most of the 81 infertile couples

Full Post: Mental woes more common in infertile couples

By Megan Rauscher NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Depression and the chronic pain syndrome fibromyalgia are common in patients who suffer from chronic Lyme disease and seem to correlate with poor functional outcomes, results of a study indicate. The term chronic Lyme disease describes patients with persistent Lyme disease despite prior treatment with a conventional 2- to

Full Post: Depression, pain may accompany chronic Lyme disease

By Amy Norton NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Poorer lifestyle habits may go a long way in explaining why people with depression or anxiety face a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, a study published Monday suggests. British researchers found that of nearly 6,600 adults they followed for seven years, those who were under significant psychological

Full Post: Lifestyle may be why distress is hard on the heart

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - While depression often follows a heart attack, a recent call for heart specialists to do routine depression screening may have been premature, a team of researchers said on Monday. Their detailed analysis of more than 17 studies suggests the American Heart Association’s recommendation for early and repeated screenings for depression in

Full Post: Depressed? Your cardiologist might not ask

By Andrew Stern CHICAGO (Reuters) - The main reason depressed heart disease patients are at higher risk for further heart trouble is because they exercise less and adopt other unhealthy habits, researchers said on Tuesday. In their study of 1,017 heart disease patients whose conditions were stable, the 20 percent who were depressed were at significantly higher

Full Post: Inactivity a risk to depressed heart patients: study

Site Navigation

Most Read