In a nutshell
This study investigated the effect of psychological distress (PSD) on cardiovascular events (CVEs) in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).
They found that PSD was associated with higher CVE rates in women only.
Mental health disorders are an increasing health problem worldwide. These include anxiety and depression. These conditions are also linked to physical illness. Psychological distress (PSD) is a term used to describe conditions like anxiety, stress, posttraumatic stress, and depression. PSD can also be caused by feelings of anger and hostility.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) may be impacted by PSD. Some studies suggest PSD can increase the risk of cardiovascular events (CVEs). CVEs include heart attack, stroke, and death due to heart disease. It is unclear If certain types of PSD increase the risk of CVEs.
Methods & findings
This study included 662 patients with a history of CAD. Patients were followed up for an average of 2.8 years. Patients underwent an assessment at the beginning of the study. Follow-up assessments were performed at 6, 12, 24 and 36 months. PSD was assessed by measuring a number of symptoms. These included depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, stress, and hostility.
PSD scores were higher in younger, female black patients. Overall there was no link between PSD and CVEs. However, women with higher PSD had a higher risk of CVEs. In patients with higher PSD scores, the rate of CVEs was 33% in women vs. 13% in men.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that PSD was associated with higher CVE rates in women only.
The fine print
Measuring PSD can be difficult. Women tend to be better at reporting psychological symptoms. This means that the impact of PSD on CVEs may be underestimated.
If you have any concerns regarding CAD and psychological problems, please consult with your physician.
Published By :
Journal of the American Heart Association
May 07, 2019
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