Prevalence and Clinical Characteristics of Mental Stress–Induced Myocardial Ischemia in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
Journal of the American College of Cardiology (Impact Factor: 16.5). 02/2013; 61(7):714-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2012.11.037
Source: PubMed


The goal of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and clinical characteristics of mental stress-induced myocardial ischemia.
Mental stress-induced myocardial ischemia is prevalent and a risk factor for poor prognosis in patients with coronary heart disease, but past studies mainly studied patients with exercise-induced myocardial ischemia.
Eligible patients with clinically stable coronary heart disease, regardless of exercise stress testing status, underwent a battery of 3 mental stress tests followed by a treadmill test. Stress-induced ischemia, assessed by echocardiography and electrocardiography, was defined as: 1) development or worsening of regional wall motion abnormality; 2) left ventricular ejection fraction reduction ≥8%; and/or 3) horizontal or downsloping ST-segment depression ≥1 mm in 2 or more leads lasting for ≥3 consecutive beats during at least 1 mental test or during the exercise test.
Mental stress-induced ischemia occurred in 43.45%, whereas exercise-induced ischemia occurred in 33.79% (p = 0.002) of the study population (N = 310). Women (odds ratio [OR]: 1.88), patients who were not married (OR: 1.99), and patients who lived alone (OR: 2.24) were more likely to have mental stress-induced ischemia (all p < 0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that compared with married men or men living with someone, unmarried men (OR: 2.57) and married women (OR: 3.18), or living alone (male OR: 2.25 and female OR: 2.72, respectively) had higher risk for mental stress-induced ischemia (all p < 0.05).
Mental stress-induced ischemia is more common than exercise-induced ischemia in patients with clinically stable coronary heart disease. Women, unmarried men, and individuals living alone are at higher risk for mental stress-induced ischemia. (Responses of Myocardial Ischemia to Escitalopram Treatment [REMIT]; NCT00574847).

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    • "It is well known that mental stress-induced ischemia is more common than exercise-induced ischemia in patients with clinically stable coronary heart disease. Women, unmarried men, and individuals living alone are at higher risk for mental stress-induced ischemia [16]. Mental stress induces transient myocardial ischemia in one third to one half of patients with CAD. "
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