Myocardial infarction survivors: age and gender differences in physical health, psychosocial state and regimen adherence


Dr V S Conn S321 School of Nursing, University of Missouri—Columbia Columbia Missouri 65211, USA


Little is known about women's and older adults’experiences after myocardial infarction (MI) The purpose of this study was to determine if gender and age differences exist in psychosocial condition, health state and therapeutic regimen adherence among MI survivors Adults aged 40 to 88 years (n= 197) were interviewed 1 to 2 years after their first MI The Profile of Mood States was used to measure anxiety and depression, the Personal Resources Questionnaire was used to measure social support, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale was used to measure self-esteem, the Perceived Quality of Life scale was used to measure quality of life, and the Health Behaviour Scale was used to assess therapeutic regimen adherence Cardiac rehabilitation participation was recorded from rehabilitation centre records Subjective health appraisals were assessed using investigator-developed questions Increased age was associated with higher depression scores, lower quality of life, less social support, less participation in formal cardiac rehabilitation, less therapeutic exercise and poorer general health Women reported poorer health than men Findings indicated older males may be at risk for lower social support and continued smoking after infarction These findings suggest that the often-reported experience of middle-aged males post-MI cannot be generalized to all adults experiencing infarction