Friday, March 15, 2013

Psychocardiology: An New Cardiovascular Subspecialty?

I kid you not (sorry, Medscape registration required):
At the recently held World Psychiatric Association Thematic Conference on Intersectional Collaboration and 4th European Congress of the International Neuropsychiatric Association in Athens, Greece, Angelos Halaris, MD, PhD, made the case for this new subspecialty, which he believes would forge closer working relationships between psychiatrists and cardiologists, provide the training and expertise needed to detect cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in psychiatric patients (and vice versa), provide continuing education regarding the safe use of medications for patients with these comorbid disorders, and raise public awareness.

"The formation of a formal subspecialty is a bit of a pipe dream at this point," Dr. Halaris, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood, Illinois, told Medscape Medical News.

"But I wanted to put it out there because our colleagues in cardiology as well as in psychiatry need to realize there is a very clear association between emotional/psychiatric/psychological conditions and cardiovascular health."

He noted that 40% to 60% of patients with CVD also have clinical depression. And 30% to 50% who have a diagnosis of depression are at risk of developing CVD.

"Multidisciplinary teams need to forge an alliance because of these comorbidities. This will allow an earlier diagnosis of our patients, vigorous treatment, and the prevention of worse conditions that would happen otherwise," said Dr. Halaris.
Wow.  More subspecialty regulation and titles?  This is the best we can do?

Psycho, indeed.



Anonymous said...

As a member of the ABIM, we have started working on the psychocardiology board exam. Since there are few experts in the field, expect a service charge in addition to the usual fees.

Lisa said...

With as bummed as I am about my latest cardiology exam, I could probably use that specialty. What I really need is an oncocardiologist. But I already see 3 cardiologist and that is way too many.

NdmXI said...

There's even a "journal of cardiovascular psychiatry and neurology"

Anonymous said...

considering that some of the drugs used to treat arrythmias and heart disease in general can cause depression according to the drug inserts, well, what can we expect but a subspeciality?

W.O.R.M. said...

Wes my friend, you ain't seen nothing. With the exponential growth in knowledge coupled with exponential growth of the ABIM's insatiable appetite for new revenue streams, it shouldn't be long before made to order speciality certifications will be available in any combination or permutation (prices vary). That way, we will all have the potential to become recognized authorities in something. Since everybody is a "doctor" of some sort these days, distinguishability is the new holy Grail.

I find psychocardiology too generalized. For only $500 extra, I may choose to sit for the biopsychosocialneurocardiology boards.