Depression Tied To "Can't Do" Attitude In Men With Congestive Heart Failure

November 24, 1998

Depressed men who have congestive heart failure -- a life-threatening condition -- are more likely than their women counterparts to perceive themselves as physically limited in performing daily tasks, according to Norwegian researchers.

Writing in the fall issue of The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine (Vol. 28, No. 3), Terje A. Murberg, M.Sc., of Stavanger College, Stavanger, Norway, and colleagues report that "men may be more attentive to symptoms of functional limitations and perceive these symptoms as more psychologically invasive than do women."

The researchers examined 85 men and 34 women with congestive heart failure, a condition that can leave patients with chest pain, short of breath, and physically debilitated. The patients completed questionnaires assessing both their levels of depression and ability to perform a range of daily tasks. Their physicians also completed similar assessments.

Overall, 32 percent of the men, but 62 percent of the women, reported mild to severe symptoms of depression. This probably reflects women's greater willingness to report depressive symptoms in general rather than any difference in the way congestive heart failure affects men and women, the researchers say.

Physicians' ratings of the patients' functional abilities did not predict their level of depression, the researchers say. Instead, it was the patients' perceptions of their own abilities that was more closely tied to their symptoms of depression -- an effect that was much stronger for men than for women.

Some men, however, reported that they experienced few daily limitations in their activities, despite the fact that their physicians assessed their symptoms of heart failure as severe.

"These findings may simply reflect that some men have high tolerance for congestive heart failure symptoms," the researchers say. It is also possible that men find it less socially acceptable to complain about their health and do not report all their symptoms.

Women, say Murberg and colleagues, may have a more realistic appreciation of their condition. Their ratings of their functional ability more closely matched their physicians' ratings.
-end-
The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine is published quarterly by Baywood Publishing Company and covers biopsychosocial aspects of primary care. For information about the Journal, contact the editor, Thomas E. Oxman, M.D., at 603-650-6147.

Posted by the Center for the Advancement of Health . For information about the Center contact Richard Hebert, rhebert@cfah.org 202-387-2829.



Center for Advancing Health

Related Depression Articles from Brightsurf:

Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.

Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.

Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.

Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.

Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.

CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Read More: Depression News and Depression Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.