Stress management program benefits patients with heart disease

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

WASHINGTON - Scientists have found that a cognitive behavioral therapy program focusing on stress management decreases the risk of recurrent heart attacks and other cardiovascular events in patients with heart disease.

Mats Gulliksson and colleagues at Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden, conducted a randomized controlled clinical trial of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) among 362 men and women discharged from the hospital after a coronary heart disease event within the previous 12 months.

A group of 192 patients were randomly assigned to participate in CBT.

“The program has five key components with specific goals-education, self-monitoring, skills training, cognitive restructuring and spiritual development-and is focused on stress management, coping with stress and reducing experience of daily stress, time urgency and hostility,” the authors wrote.

The therapy was delivered in 20 two-hour sessions during one year, in small groups separated by sex. The other 170 patients received traditional care.

Patients in the CBT group had a 41 percent lower rate of both fatal and non-fatal heart events, 45 percent fewer recurrent heart attacks and a non-significantly lower rate of death than patients in the traditional care group.

Attending a higher proportion of the therapy sessions was associated with a further reduction in risk.

The study appeared in the January 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (ANI)

Self-control could turn toddlers into healthier and wealthier adults:Study|Sci-tech[Washington{Washington, Jan 25 (ANI): Children with the most self-control at the age of three become healthiest, wealthiest and successful adults, according to a new study.

However, kids with lower self-control scores are more likely to have health problems, substance dependence, financial troubles and a criminal record by the time they reached age 32.

The long-term study by Duke University psychologists found that children’s self-control skills predicted their health, wealth and criminal history later in life.

Researchers Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi tracked more than 1,000 New Zealand children and analysed their self-control using assessments by parents, observers, teachers and the children themselves.

Self-control was assessed by several measures including lack of persistence, low frustration tolerance, difficulty sticking with a task, hyperactivity, restless, inability to think and impulsivity.

The researchers found that children scoring lowest on measures of self-control had more gum disease and sexually transmitted diseases; were more likely to be overweight, have high cholesterol or high blood pressure and signs of inflammation; to be single parents; have a criminal record; and were more likely to be addicted to cigarettes, alcohol and harder drugs.

However, they also found that children whose self-control increased with age tended to have better adult outcomes than initially predicted, showing that self-control can change.

Caspi and Moffitt also looked at 500 fraternal twins in Britain and found that the sibling with a lower self-control score at age 5 had a greater likelihood of poor school performance, beginning smoking or exhibiting antisocial behaviours at age 12.

“This shows that self-control is important by itself, apart from all other factors that siblings share, such as their parents and home life,” said Caspi.

The New Zealand children with low-self control were more likely to make poor choices as adolescents, including taking up smoking, having unplanned pregnancies and dropping out of school.

Even the low self-control individuals who finished high school as non-smokers without kids showed poorer outcomes at age 32.

The study appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)

Filed under: Blood Pressure

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