Association of Mental Health Conditions With Participation in Cardiac Rehabilitation

Nirupama Krishnamurthi, David W. Schopfer, Hui Shen, Mary A. Whooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Mental health conditions are associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes in patients with ischemic heart disease, and much of this risk can be attributed to poor health behaviors. Although all patients with ischemic heart disease should be referred for cardiac rehabilitation (CR), whether patients with mental health conditions are willing to participate in CR programs is unknown. We sought to compare CR participation rates among patients with ischemic heart disease with versus without comorbid depression and/or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Methods and Results: We used national electronic health records to identify all patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction or coronary revascularization at Veterans Health Administration hospitals between 2010 and 2014. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to determine whether comorbid depression/PTSD was associated with CR participation during the 12 months after hospital discharge. Of the 86 537 patients hospitalized for ischemic heart disease between 2010 and 2014, 24% experienced PTSD and/or depression. Patients with PTSD and/or depression had higher CR participation rates than those without PTSD or depression (11% versus 8%; P<0.001). In comparison to patients without PTSD or depression, the odds of participation was 24% greater in patients with depression alone (odds ratio, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.15–1.34), 38% greater in patients with PTSD alone (odds ratio, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.24–1.54), and 57% greater in patients with both PTSD and depression (odds ratio, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.43–1.74). Conclusions: Among patients with ischemic heart disease, the presence of comorbid depression and/or PTSD is associated with greater participation in CR, providing an important opportunity to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors and reduce adverse cardiovascular outcomes among these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere011639
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - 4 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • depression
  • mental health
  • participation
  • posttraumatic stress disorder


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