Psychological correlates, allostatic overload and clinical course in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).

International journal of cardiology

PubMedID: 27390955

Gostoli S, Bonomo M, Roncuzzi R, Biffi M, Boriani G, Rafanelli C. Psychological correlates, allostatic overload and clinical course in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Int J Cardiol. 2016;220360-364.
BACKGROUND
Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a key treatment option for both primary and secondary prevention of sudden cardiac death. Despite this, there is a growing number of studies showing that ICD is often associated with post-implantation deleterious psychosocial effects, even in the absence of medical complications. Knowledge about the predictive role of pre-ICD psychological profile is scant. The present research aims to describe patients' pre-ICD psychological profile, focusing on acute and chronic distress, such as anxiety, depression, type D personality, psychosomatic syndromes and allostatic overload (AO), and to evaluate if these psychological variables could affect ICD outcomes and survival.

METHODS
117 consecutive patients (74.4% males; mean age=63.1±13.7years) underwent psychological assessment prior to ICD implantation. Data on ICD-related complications and death were collected up to 26months after the intervention.

RESULTS
At baseline, 36.8% of the sample had anxiety and 17.9% depression. Among psychosomatic syndromes, psychological factors affecting medical conditions were the most frequent (37.6%). 12.8% presented with type D personality, whereas 16.2% showed moderate AO and 4.3% severe AO. 25.6% of the patients had post-ICD complications and 6% died. Severe AO was the only predictor of survival.

CONCLUSION
Our findings show that a reliable evaluation of stress and the inability to cope with it (allostatic overload) may help to identify patients at higher risk of post-ICD complications and death. Such sensitive index, more than traditional psychiatric diagnostic criteria, may help the physician to identify easily manifestations of distress and clinically relevant information, which could affect medical illness outcomes.