Fatigue common after heart attack

  • Olivia Fens

Half of all patients who have a heart attack experience debilitating fatigue, a new study has found.

In the Swedish study, 200 heart attack patients completed a questionnaire one week after their attack and then again four months later. Many were also interviewed.

Four months after a heart attack 50% of patients experience chronic fatigue. Unfortunately, most of these patients believe that this fatigue is a sign of chronic illness.

One third of the patients said they experienced mild to moderate fatigue, while one fifth also exhibited symptoms of depression.

“The perception that their condition was a chronic one depended on the extent to which the patients reflected over what had happened,” the researchers said.

“A further factor that influenced the patients' perceptions of their illness was whether they felt that they could influence the illness themselves, or whether they placed their trust in medication and other external factors.”

The study was presented at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

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