Increase in observed mental health difficulties one year after acute coronary syndrome: general practitioner survey.

BACKGROUND: General practitioners (GPs) are often the first to assess mental health difficulties after acute coronary syndrome (ACS). AIMS: To determine whether GPs observed an increase in mental health difficulties one-year post-hospitalisation for ACS. METHODS: Postal survey. RESULTS: GPs rated patients (n = 442) as having probable (GP assessed 10%) or definite (formally assessed 7%) mental health difficulties pre-hospitalisation. Post-hospitalisation the prevalence of probable cases increased significantly to 19% (OR = 4.3, 95% CI 2.1-10.2, P < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, only smoking at index hospitalisation was associated with being assessed as a new case of probable/formal mental health difficulties (RR = 2.1, 95% CI 1.3-3.4, P = 0.003). Forty-seven percent of cases were prescribed some medication for this problem. CONCLUSIONS: GPs recorded a significant increase in mental health difficulties in ACS patients 12 months after hospitalisation, with smoking used as an indicator of new cases.