WEDNESDAY, May 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The presence of comorbid depression and/or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with increased participation in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) among patients with ischemic heart disease, according to a study published online May 22 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Nirupama Krishnamurthi, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues identified all patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction or coronary revascularization at Veterans Health Administration hospitals between 2010 and 2014. CR participation rates were compared among patients with ischemic heart disease with versus those without comorbid depression and/or PTSD.

The researchers found that 24 percent of the 86,537 patients hospitalized for ischemic heart disease experienced PTSD and/or depression. Compared with those without PTSD or depression, patients with PTSD and/or depression had higher CR participation rates (11 versus 8 percent). The odds of participation were increased in patients with depression alone, those with PTSD alone, and those with both PTSD and depression compared with patients without PTSD or depression (odds ratios, 1.24, 1.38, and 1.57, respectively).

“These findings suggest that mental health conditions may not be a barrier to CR and that CR may, in fact, provide an opportunity for greater mental health care and support,” the authors write.

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