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Scierka highlights link between depression and peripheral arterial disease outcomes

A meta-analysis of 119,123 patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) demonstrates that depressive symptoms were associated with a 24% increased risk of all-cause mortality.

Led by Vascular Medicine Outcomes Program T32 Vascular Outcome Researcher Lindsey Scierka, MD, MPH, the study deepens our current understanding of the link between PAD and mental health, the researchers suggest.

The results were published on September 28 in the Affective Disorders Diary.

A lifelong Connecticut native, Scierka is dedicated to conducting impactful research on patient-centered outcomes. Working in the Cardiovascular Medicine Section has been a fantastic opportunity to see excellence in research and clinical practice in action.

As a T32 research fellow, she explored the relationship between sexual and psychosocial factors (including mental health, obesity, and menopause) with outcomes for patients with PAD to identify new targets for future interventions. She was exposed to the differences in clinical presentations between men and women at the Yale Peripheral Vascular Clinic, with women often presenting at older ages with greater mental health burden. She wanted to learn more about potential biological and psychosocial mechanisms that might contribute to gender differences in peripheral artery disease (PAD), which prompted her next independent research project, “Age of Menopause and Incident Peripheral Artery Disease Admissions for Women in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC).

“At this pivotal time in my career, I had the incredible good fortune to work with the Vascular Medicine Outcomes Research Program as the first Vascular Outcomes T32 Fellow under the mentorship of Drs. Kim Smolderen and Carlos Mena-Hurtado,” Scierka said.

“Working with them not only provided me with the fundamental research skills needed to conduct high-quality outcome research, but I also learned the importance of incorporating the patient perspective at every step of the process. research – from project design to results.This ensures that we conduct truly patient-centered research and that our results will have a positive impact on the populations we serve.

When she’s not in the office, Scierka enjoys biking the Farmington Canal and tasting wines at Connecticut’s various vineyards. She also enjoys cooking for her family and friends using fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farms and small businesses.

“Looking beyond traditional risk factors for PAD like hypertension and smoking is key to understanding the complex risk profiles of our patients. The incidence and outcome of PAD are influenced by a variety of biological and psychosocial factors, including social determinants of health, gender and gender-based factors, and mental health comorbidities that must be addressed in order to provide care. complete vascular to this vulnerable population,” she said. said.

“My overall goal is a career as an academic cardiologist where I can continue my work in outcome research while providing compassionate patient care. I hope to develop new therapeutic interventions to address the complex biological and psychosocial factors that affect patients to improve outcomes for people with vascular disease.

In November, Scierka will present three posters at the American Heart Association scientific sessions in November 2022, “Health Status Profiles in Patients with New or Worening Peripheral Artery Disease Symptoms and One-Year Hospitalization Risk”, “Comorbid Obesity in Sicular Peripheral Artery Disease: A Modifiable Factor Associated with Health Status” and “Integrating Mental Health Screening into a Health System for Measurement-Based Care of Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease”.