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AHA: ICDs Up Shock-Related Anxiety, Lower Sexual Function

Last Updated: November 14, 2011.

Patients with congenital heart disease who have implanted cardiac defibrillators have a higher level of shock-related anxiety, which is inversely related to sexual function, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011, held from Nov. 12 to 16 in Orlando, Fla.

MONDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) who have implanted cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) have a higher level of shock-related anxiety, which is inversely related to sexual function (SF), according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011, held from Nov. 12 to 16 in Orlando, Fla.

Stephen C. Cook, M.D., from the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, and colleagues sought to identify ICD-related shock anxiety and SF in 151 patients with CHD. Of these, 41 had ICDs (ICD+) and 110 did not (ICD−). SF and depression were assessed through the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM), Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). ICD-related shock anxiety in ICD+ patients was analyzed by the Florida Shock Anxiety Scale (FSAS).

The investigators found that there were no significant differences in the FSFI or BDI-II scores between the ICD+ and ICD− groups, but the SHIM scores were lower in the ICD+ group (P = 0.09). Patients with ICDs had higher levels of shock-related anxiety with total FSAS, consequence, and trigger scores greater than the normative scores. An inverse relation existed between higher total FSAS scores and SF, as measured by SHIM and FSFI scores (P = 0.09 and 0.003, respectively). Although the ICD+ group had greater CHD complexity, the two groups had similar total FSAS scores by CHD severity.

"Adults with CHD and ICDs demonstrate a high level of shock-related anxiety, which is associated with lower SF scores," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed a financial relationship with the medical device industry. Another study author disclosed providing psychological services to patients with ICDs and anxiety.

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