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Prevalence and Professional Impact of Mental Health Conditions Among Cardiologists

ARTICLE: Prevalence and Professional Impact of Mental Health Conditions Among Cardiologists

AUTHORS: Garima Sharma, Shiavax J. Rao, Pamela S. Douglas, Anne Rzeszut, Dipti Itchhaporia, Malissa J. Wood, Khurram NasirRoger S. Blumenthal, Athena Poppas, Jeffrey Kuvin, Andrew P. Miller, Roxana Mehran, Michael Valentine, Richard F. Summers, and Laxmi S. Mehta

JOURNAL: J Am Coll Cardiol. 2022 Dec 28


Background: Mental illness among physicians is an increasingly recognized concern. Global data on mental health conditions (MHCs) among cardiologists are limited.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the global prevalence of MHCs among cardiologists and its relationships to professional life.

Methods: The American College of Cardiology conducted an online survey with 5,931 cardiologists globally in 2019. Data on demographics, practice, MHC, and association with professional activities were analyzed. The P values were calculated using the chi-square, Fischer exact, and Mann-Whitney U tests. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis determined the association of characteristics with MHC.

Results: Globally, 1 in 4 cardiologists experience any self-reported MHC, including psychological distress, or major or other psychiatric disorder. There is significant geographic variation in MHCs, with highest and lowest prevalences in South America (39.3%) and Asia (20.1%) (P < 0.001). Predictors of MHCs included experiencing emotional harassment (OR: 2.81; 95% CI: 2.46-3.20), discrimination (OR: 1.85; 95% CI: 1.61-2.12), being divorced (OR: 1.85; 95% CI: 1.27-2.36), and age <55 years (OR: 1.43; 95% CI: 1.24-1.66). Women were more likely to consider suicide within the past 12 months (3.8% vs 2.3%), but were also more likely to seek help (42.3% vs 31.1%) as compared with men (all P < 0.001). Nearly one-half of cardiologists reporting MHCs (44%) felt dissatisfied on at least one professional metric including feeling valued, treated fairly, and adequate compensation.

Conclusions: More than 1 in 4 cardiologists experience self-reported MHCs globally, and the association with adverse experiences in professional life is substantial. Dedicated efforts toward prevention and treatment are needed to maximize the contributions of affected cardiologists.

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Healio: Survey: 1 in 4 cardiologists report having a mental health condition


Kelsey Bennett