Recovery for Heart Attack

Medical experts say many Australians with heart disease are suffering undiagnosed depression which is impeding their recovery. Last year about 22,000 Australians had their lives cut short by heart disease.

The Heart Foundation says nearly half of all surviving heart attack patients experience mild depression and 15 per cent will have more serious mental health issues. Around 800,000 Australians live with heart disease.

Medical experts say the dangers of leaving mental illness undetected and untreated can push survivors towards a second heart attack. They say if a patient’s mental condition was screened at the same time they got their physical check up, more lives would be saved.

Dr Rob Grenfell says patients are less likely to make the lifestyle changes needed after a heart attack if their mental illness goes untreated. “At the moment most patients with depression after a heart attack go unrecognised,” he said.

And unfortunately practitioners and some families and carers think depression is just a normal part of having a heart attack.

The Heart Foundation wants heart patients to be regularly screened for mental health issues.

Beyond Blue chief executive Kate Carnell says heart attack patients who are depressed are less likely to take their medications. “The problem that we’ve got is that they’re less likely to take their medication properly,” she said.

They are less likely to make the lifestyle changes that they need to make, such as get more exercise and have a better diet [and] they’re less likely to attend cardiac rehabilitation classes.

We know people with depression are much more likely to die, so if we can address the depression and anxiety we can significantly improve the health outcomes, and certainly save lives.”

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  • My mother is a heart patient .she is 64 years old .She is having Coronary infection and has to do angiogram ...

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