News tips for Tuesday, November 9, 2004

riability analysis. Depressive symptoms were rated on a standard scale, with the women grouped as severely (group 1), mildly or non-depressed (2). Twenty-two women had normal coronary angiograms (NCA); the other 117 had significant heart disease (artery narrowing above 50 percent). The severely depressed group had 2.8 silent ischemic episodes versus 0.2 for the mildly depressed/non-depressed group, during a 24-hour ECG monitoring. This occurred both in women with NCA and with coronary heart disease. HR variability was lower in group 1. "Severe depression was associated with silent myocardial ischemia in women with de novo angina, having either normal coronary angiograms or coronary heart disease," reported the researchers, who say a potential pathway may be the effects of the sympathetic nervous system on coronary circulation.

2 p.m. Abstract 3035 Can parents' perspective offer clues to quality of life in children with heart disease? Prolonged life expectancy in children with heart disease prompts increased focus on their health-related quality of life (QOL). How do parents perceive physical and psychosocial aspects of emotional, social and school functioning by these children? Researchers used the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory to study 408 parents (83 percent mothers) of children aged 2- to 18-years-old with heart disease. Illness severity was rated from 1 (mild no surgery) to 4 (complex/severe uncorrectable or palliative repair). Researchers found that a majority of the children with heart disease have good quality of life, but about one child in five is at risk for "impaired psychosocial QOL" as perceived by their parents. Impaired psychosocial functioning may be related to the parent's perception of the child's physical functioning, especially in those over age 5, but was not related to clinician rating of disease severity, the researchers said. In light of the potential discord between disease severity and parental percep

Contact: Carole Bullock
American Heart Association

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