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Does Mental Health Differ by Ethnicity/Race in Post-Myocardial Infarction (MI) Females Ages 50 Years and Older?

Purpose: There is limited research surrounding how mental health in post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients differs by gender and ethnicity. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine whether mental health differs by ethnicity in post-MI older adult females with coronary artery disease (CAD).

Methods: This cross-sectional analysis used 2015 BRFSS data for post-MI females 50 years of age and older from Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to assess the relationship between mental health and ethnicity/race while controlling for age, education level, income level, marital status, physical activity, and depression.

Results: About half of post-MI older adult females reported good mental health in the last month (56-58%) and most were White, non-Hispanic (73-80%), followed by Black, non- Hispanic (15-17%), and other ethnic/racial groups (4-11%). The results of this study indicated that mental health did not differ significantly by ethnicity/race in any of the three states after controlling for demographic factors, physical activity, and depression. However, good mental health was inversely related to depression in all three states and positively related to age in two of three states.

Conclusion: Mental health did not differ significantly by ethnicity/race in post-MI older adult females. However, within this target population, good mental health was less likely in those with a previous diagnosis of depression in all three states and more likely in those aged 65 and older in two of three states. Although there was no information in this study regarding mental health progression following a myocardial infarction, primary care providers and cardiologists should screen all post-MI female patients, despite their ethnicity/race, for good mental health, especially those who have a previous diagnosis of depression and those ages 50-64 years. Mental health education and referrals should be provided to post-MI older adult females of all ethnicities as needed.


Caitlin A Thornton, Danielle K Lutes, Kara M Norman and Jessica L Hartos

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