Day-to-Day Anxiety in Adult Patients With Congenital vs Acquired Heart Disease

unsettled woman holding her hands
Cropped shot of a woman sitting on a sofa and feeling anxious
Investigators conducted a study to determine the relationship between anxiety and congenital and acquired hearted disease in adult patients.

The following article is a part of conference coverage from the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Session & Expo being held in Washington, DC, from April 2 to 4, 2022. The team at Cardiology Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by clinicians and scientists in the field. Check back for more from the ACC 2022 .


Trait anxiety levels, otherwise known as anxiety common in day-to-day life, are significantly higher in patients with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) compared with adult patients with acquired heart disease according to results of research presented at the American College of Cardiology 71st Annual Scientific Session & Expo, from April 2nd through 4th, in Washington, DC.

Among adults with congenital heart disease, 1 in 3 is also diagnosed with anxiety. About 1 in 5 adults suffers with anxiety in the general population. Pre-procedural anxiety may lead to greater negative outcomes. The goal of this study was to examine the association between situational (state anxiety) and day-to-day life (trait anxiety), and, differences in patients with ACHD and patients with acquired heart disease.

To accomplish this, researchers conducted a multicenter study that included 291 adult patients with acquired or congenital heart disease who were given the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and financial stress scale at 4 US tertiary referral centers prior to catheterization. Of those, 91 had ACHD. The ACHD group was 57% women vs 35.5% women in the acquired heart disease group. Patients in the ACHD group were also younger (41.3±16.3 years vs 64.7±11.3 years; P <.001), received more prior cardiac surgeries (P <.001), and had a higher level of trait anxiety (t[171]=2.62, P =.001, d=0.33). State anxiety showed no difference between groups (t[158.65]=1.37, P =.17, d=0.18).

Patients with ACHD had significantly higher day-to-day life anxiety levels compared to adult patients with acquired heart disease. Researchers stated, “ACHD providers must consider long-term psychological interventions, such as psychotherapy, and social interventions to be impactful at reducing pre-procedural anxiety.”


Cook SC. Pre-procedural anxiety in adults with congenital heart disease. Presented at: American College of Cardiology 71st Annual Scientific Session & Expo; April 2-4, 2022; Washington, DC.

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