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J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2006 Sep-Oct;21(5 Suppl 1):S2-7; quiz S8-9.

Depression, isolation, social support, and cardiovascular disease in older adults.

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  • 1Heart and Stroke Foundation, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Research evidence related specifically to psychosocial issues in older adults with cardiovascular disease remains sparse; however, widespread recognition of the impact of the changing population demographic is spurring new research in this important area. National guidelines for cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention in several countries include recommendations related to psychosocial issues; authors are beginning to address the older cardiac patient in their recommendations. The purpose of this article is to highlight some key psychosocial factors that have been independently associated with coronary heart disease but to do so with a focus on the older adult in the secondary prevention setting. The selected psychosocial factors are social support, social isolation, and depression. Although evidence supports a relationship between psychosocial factors and coronary heart disease, the issue addressed in this article is whether such relationships hold true in the older adult and whether rehabilitation and secondary prevention interventions are targeted to address these factors. As much as possible, current recommendations (related to psychosocial issues) from worldwide Clinical Practice Guidelines are highlighted. Finally, any examination of psychosocial factors and coronary heart disease must consider the possibility of sex and/or gender differences. Therefore, a commentary on reported differences between men and women with respect to social support, social isolation, and depression is included.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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