Introduction After myocardial infarction (MI) only 50% to 60% of people still work and the time to stay out of work is in Poland often 9 months. The aim of the project was to elicit factors that have an impact on the return to work after the first myocardial infarction.
Methods A questionnaire survey was performed among all patients occupationally active till the time of the MI. The questionnaire covered recent data on work, working environment, health status, lifestyle. 306 people received the questionnaire. The analysis included 150 surveys.
Results As much as 76.7% (115) people returned to work. The average age of workers prior to infarction was 52.6±7.1 years, and was significantly lower than that of people who did not return (55.3±6.8). The subjects returned to work after an average of 6.5 months (range 0.5–48). The group of people who returned/did not return to work did not differ in respect to education, place of residence, classical risk factors, type of MI, ejection fraction and undertaken rehabilitation. Subjects who returned to work significantly more likely used to undertake physical activity. People who did not return to work significantly more often rated their health as ‘worse than before the MI’ (p=0.026) complained the chest pain (71.4% vs 38.6%, p=0.026), suffered from neurosis (25, 7% vs 10.4%, p=0.047) and were anxious about re-infarction (71.4% vs 49.6%, p=0.023). As many as 20.9% of subjects claimed that the work was too heavy, while for 49.6% the job was too stressful.
Discussion The results indicate that age, subjective health status and the presence of pain in the chest, neurosis and anxiety play an important role in the return to work after MI. For people who restarted working, work heaviness and stress occurring at work were the major problems.
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