Source: British Heart Foundation
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Date of publication: July 2019
Publication type: News item
In a nutshell: Survey suggests that more than half of people living with heart and circulatory diseases have experienced feelings related to anxiety or depression, but many are not getting the help they need.
The survey involving almost 5,000 people living with conditions such as a heart attack, stroke and heart failure, found that 58% of respondents living with heart and circulatory diseases had reported feeling sad, down or depressed.
It also found that 59% had experienced feelings of anxiety, and fear or uncertainty about the future.
If these results were representative of the 7.4 million in the UK living with the daily burden of heart and circulatory diseases, this would mean that around four million of those may have experienced these feelings at some stage.
Parallel has revealed that less than half of all cardiac rehabilitation programmes – which offer exercise and information sessions to help people following a heart attack, heart surgery or procedure – have staff designated to mental health management.
And, according to further analysis of patient data by us, more than one in three (37%) working age adults in the UK living with coronary heart disease have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression by their GP, up from 30% a decade earlier. Around 4 in 10 (41%) working age stroke survivors have also been diagnosed with anxiety or depression by their GP. A decade earlier, this figure was 33%. Coronary heart disease, which can cause a heart attack, and stroke are two of the most common types of heart and circulatory disease in the UK.
The BHF is now urging the NHS and Governments across the UK to ensure that emotional and psychological support is a core consideration in the care and support provided to everyone affected by heart and circulatory diseases. In the BHF’s latest strategy, the nation’s heart charity is calling for everyone to receive the support they need to make a good recovery and live free from the fear of these conditions.
Length of publication: 1 webpage
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Acknowledgement: British Heart Foundation