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J Card Fail. 2009 Sep;15(7):572-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2009.03.005. Epub 2009 May 21.

Anxiety and depression in ethnic minorities with chronic heart failure.

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  • 1School of Nursing, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6918, USA. levangel@ucla.edu



Considerable evidence confirms the high prevalence of anxiety and depression in the patients with heart failure (HF). However, little is known about the relationship of race/ethnicity to psychosocial variables in this population. The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the incidence of anxiety and depression in a cohort of non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites with advanced systolic HF.


Two-hundred forty-one patients (7% non-Hispanic blacks, 22.8% Hispanics, 60.7% non-Hispanic whites) mean age 56.7+/-13.0 years, male (70%), married (81%), retired (75%), New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III (53.9%), and mean ejection fraction 31.2+/-5.4%) from a single heart transplant facility were asked to complete a series of questionnaires to assess anxiety, depression, perceived control, social support, and financial stability. Non-Hispanic blacks had higher levels of anxiety (P=.048) and depression (P=.026) compared with Hispanics; a similar trend was noted when comparing non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites, but these differences were not statistically significant. Perceived control was highest among Hispanics and lowest among non-Hispanic whites (P=.046). In a multivariate model race/ethnicity, perceived control, and social support accounted for 30% of the variance in anxiety while race/ethnicity, NYHA Class, perceived control, and social support accounted for 41% of the variance in depression.


Our findings reveal that non-Hispanic blacks are more likely to be anxious and depressed than their counterparts. Because patient perceptions of control and social support are related to dysphorias known to influence morbidity and mortality, clinicians should regularly assess patients' concerns and assist in accessing appropriate services and treatments tailored to individual needs. Non-Hispanic blacks warrant increased scrutiny.

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