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Patients with cardiac inherited diseases overestimate risk for future severe cardiac events

11 Jul 2020

Patients with cardiac inherited disease (CID) tend to overestimate their risk for severe cardiac events, a recent study has found. This usually coincides with reporting mild symptoms of anxiety.

Researchers enrolled 202 CID patients (median age, 53 years) who participated in a postal survey, which determined their self-perceived risk of developing aborted cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death (ACA/SCD). A CID registry was accessed for clinical and genetic information.

The median perception of risk for ACA/SCD was 20 percent, but the responses ranged from 0 percent to 100 percent. In comparison, the clinician median risk perception was only 4.5 percent, with values ranging from 0 percent to 30 percent.

When comparing perceptions between clinicians and patients with long QT syndrome, 15 percent of the patients underestimated their risk, while 30 percent had accurate perceptions. Notably, 56 percent overestimated their risks for developing severe cardiac events, with absolute differences in perception ranging from 6 percent to 99.5 percent.

Bivariate analysis found that probands were more likely to have significantly inflated perceptions of risk (median, 21.5 percent vs 10 percent; p<0.05), as did those who were experiencing physical symptoms, regardless of whether they were related to CID or not (p<0.01). Ethnicity also seemed to play an important role.

In addition, researchers also pointed out that patients who were experiencing at least mild anxiety were also more likely to have a worse perception of their risk for more severe cardiac events.

“Clearly, doctors and many of their patients with a CID are not on the same page when it comes to risk. This study provides guidance as to the factors that could assist with identifying people more prone to overestimate their risk, for whom additional support and clarification could be provided,” researchers said.

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Elaine Soliven, 5 days ago

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