The aim of this study was to investigate factors associated with alexithymia in patients (n=153) with coronary heart disease (CHD) verified by coronary angiography.
Self-rated depression was assessed using 21-item Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and other psychiatric symptoms with Symptom Check List-90 (SCL-90). Life satisfaction was assessed using a separate scale. The Structured Clinical Interview (SCID I and II) for DSM-III-R was used to identify mental disorders. Assessments took place 1 day before angiography.
Twenty-one percent of CHD patients (n=32) were assessed as being alexithymic according to the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Alexithymics were more often blue-collar workers, incapable of working, dissatisfied with life, and depressed than the other CHD patients. Occurrences of mental disorders were not associated with alexithymia. Logistic regression analysis revealed that factors independently associated with alexithymia were currently or previously being a blue-collar worker (adjusted odds ratio, AOR: 4.8), self-rated depression (AOR: 3.2), and dissatisfaction with life (AOR: 2.9).
In CHD patients alexithymia was unrelated to cardiovascular risk factors or exercise capacity but was related to self-rated depression and decreased life satisfaction. Alexithymia is associated with the enhanced psychosocial burden of suffering CHD. This patient group may need more individual support and attention than other CHD patients.
The aim of the study was to examine the social and economic variables associated with mental health by means of telephone interviews of a randomly chosen population sample (n = 1557) in Finland in 1993. Mental health was evaluated by means of a 12-item General Health Questionnaire. A mental disorder, indicated by the GHQ score, was detected in 18.3% of the interviewees. Mental disorders were more common in women than in men. Other factors associated with a mental disorder were unemployment, financial difficulties and insufficient social support from other people. Mental disorders, indicated by the GHQ score, were common in the long-term unemployed, users of hypnotics and sedatives, and in those who were uncertain about their future. In stepwise logistic regression analyses the statistically independent associates with impaired mental health were suicidal thoughts, receiving of housing allowance and female sex. On the other hand, being on salary was a protective factor.
To explore the relationship between several indicators of depression and metabolic syndrome (MetS).
A population-based sample with high (HMS group) or low (LMS group) levels of mental symptoms, including those of depression, in three follow-ups participated in a clinical examination in 2005 (n = 223). MetS was determined according to the NCEP criteria.
The prevalence of MetS was 49% in men and 21% in women. Men with MetS had higher rates of major depressive disorder than other men. They also displayed higher Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HDRS) scores and more often signs of suicidality. In logistic regression analyses, higher HDRS scores (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.04-1.64) and belonging to the HMS group (OR 10.1, 95% CI 1.98-51.3) were independent associates for MetS but only in men.
The results highlight that there is an association between long-term depressive symptoms and the emergence of MetS, especially in men.
We studied the long-term effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident on mental wellbeing 7 years after the event. Mental wellbeing was assessed using a 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). The study group comprised 325 persons (aged 15-54 years) who had continued to live in the high-fallout area in Bryansk, Russian Federation, classified as a strict control zone with respect to the level of fallout and subsequent radiation protection countermeasures. The control group comprised 278 persons living in a noncontaminated area. The mental wellbeing of women in the study group was poorer than in controls (age-adjusted means). Based on the GHQ score, a minor mental disorder was detected in 48% of the women in the study group and 34% of the female controls. The corresponding figures for men were 26% and 28%, respectively. Those living with a partner coped better mentally than the others. The level of education was not associated with the GHQ score. Poor financial situation and self-rated poor health were associated with a high GHQ score. Fifty-nine per cent of the study group and 14% of the control group wanted to move away from the area of residence, but it was not associated with GHQ score. In a logistic regression analysis, independent factors explaining the GHQ score in the study group were uncertainty about the future in the men and, in addition, poor financial situation and insufficient social support in the women. According the results, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident impaired the long-term mental wellbeing of women living in the contaminated area.
The aim of this study was to examine the sociodemographic and clinical variables associated with life satisfaction in psychiatric patients. The study population consisted of out-patients and in-patients (n = 1204) treated at the Department of Psychiatry of Kuopio University Hospital in North Savo, Finland, during May 1993. Sociodemographic, psychosocial and clinical correlates of life satisfaction were examined by means of two different questionnaires, one directed at patients and the other directed at the staff. Life satisfaction was assessed by means of a separate scale based on four questions. Patients with schizophrenia were less dissatisfied than patients with other disorders. The strongest correlates of dissatisfaction were depression and poor social support. Other factors relating to dissatisfaction in multiple regression analysis were self-rated health and poor financial circumstances. A psychosomatic reaction tendency or degree of psychosocial functioning at the time of the study was not independently related to life satisfaction. Psychiatric patients who are dissatisfied should be evaluated both for depression and for effectiveness of their social network.
We studied the significance of debt as a risk factor for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in a nation-wide sample (n = 4868) of the Finnish general population. Those experiencing difficulties in repaying their debts more often than others (37 vs. 16%, P or =3). Nevertheless, difficulties in repaying debts were found to be a factor independently associated with suicidal ideation (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.9-4.2). The clinical implication of these findings is that individuals experiencing difficulties in repaying their debts may require psychiatric evaluation as well as socio-economic counselling.
To investigate whether depression was associated with cardiac status and socio-demographic factors in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD).
The sample consisted of 144 symptomatic patients with CHD. For screening depression the Beck Depression Inventory was administered on the day before elective coronary angiography.
Twenty-four per cent of patients had probable depressive disorder, but none of them had been previously identified as suffering from depression, or been treated for depression. Alexithymia and dissatisfaction with life were common in depressed patients. Logistic regression analysis showed that neither the cardiac status nor sociodemographic factors were associated with depression.
Depression is a common finding and should be looked for independently of other risk factors in patients with CHD.
This study examines how alexithymia and depression are related to each other in men and women in a sample of Finnish general population (n = 2018).
Alexithymia was screened using the 20-item version of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Level of depression was assessed using the 21-item Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Life satisfaction was estimated with a structured scale.
The prevalence of alexithymia was 12.8% in men and 8.2% in women. However, the prevalence of alexithymia was 32.1% among those having BDI scores of > or = 9, but only 4.3% among the nondepressed subjects (p