Negative thinking may play a bigger role in heart failure than previously thought

Researchers at the University of Kentucky found that patients who had negative thinking patterns, such as thoughts about not being able to justify their own existence, were at higher risk for developing depression.

Heart patients with depression have been shown to have more complications, including a higher risk of death.

Rebecca Dekker, a research nurse, noted the findings suggest that heading off negative thoughts could help reduce depression in heart failure patients.

"Because of these findings, we have developed an intervention that is designed to reduce negative thinking in hospitalized patients with heart failure, and we will be testing this intervention in a randomized, controlled trial. In the meantime, health care professionals and family members who work with patients with heart failure need to realize that when a person with heart failure expresses negative thoughts, they should be screened and possibly treated for depression," Dekker said.

These results are being presented this week at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.

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