Survivors of aortic dissection: Activity, mental health, and sexual function

Ashish Chaddha, Eva Kline-Rogers, Alan C. Braverman, Steven R. Erickson, Elizabeth A. Jackson, Barry A. Franklin, Elise M. Woznicki, Justin T. Jabara, Daniel G. Montgomery, Kim A. Eagle

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62 Scopus citations


Background Currently no research exists assessing lifestyle modifications and emotional state of acute aortic dissection (AAD) survivors. We sought to assess activity, mental health, and sexual function in AAD survivors. Hypothesis Physical and sexual activity will decrease in AAD survivors compared to pre-dissection. Incidence of anxiety and depression will be significant after AAD. Methods A cross sectional survey was mailed to 197 subjects from a single academic medical center (part of larger IRAD database). Subjects were ≥18 years of age surviving a type A or B AAD between 1996 and 2011. 82 surveys were returned (overall response rate 42%). Results Mean age ± SD was 59.5 ± 13.7 years, with 54.9% type A and 43.9% type B patients. Walking remained the most prevalent form of physical activity (49 (60%) pre-dissection and 47 (57%) post-dissection). Physical inactivity increased from 14 (17%) before AAD to 20 (24%) after AAD; sexual activity decreased from 31 (38%) to 9 (11%) mostly due to fear. Most patients (66.7%) were not exerting themselves physically or emotionally at AAD onset. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) at 36 months post-discharge for patients engaging in ≥2 sessions of aerobic activity/week was 126.67 ± 10.30 vs. 141.10 ± 11.87 (p-value 0.012) in those who did not. Self-reported new-onset depression after AAD was 32% and also 32% for new-onset anxiety. Conclusions Alterations in lifestyle and emotional state are frequent in AAD survivors. Clinicians should screen for unfounded fears or beliefs after dissection that may reduce function and/or quality of life for AAD survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-659
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


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