[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies investigating the prognostic role of job stress in coronary heart disease are sparse and have inconclusive findings. We aimed (i) to investigate whether job strain predicts recurrent events after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and if so (ii) to determine behavioural and biological factors that contribute to the explanation of this association.
Ten emergency hospitals in the larger Stockholm area, Sweden.
Non-fatal AMI cases from the Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program case-control study who were employed and younger than 65 years at the time of their hospitalization (n = 676).
During the 8.5 year follow-up, 155 patients experienced cardiac death or non-fatal AMI; totally 96 patients died, 52 of cardiac causes. After adjustment for potential confounders, patients with high job strain had an increased risk for the combination of cardiac death and non-fatal AMI relative to those with low job strain, the hazard ratio (HR) and the 95% confidence interval (CI) being 1.73 (1.06-2.83). Results were similar for cardiac [HR (95% CI): 2.81 (1.16-6.82)] and total mortality [HR (95% CI): 1.65 (0.91-2.98)]. We found no evidence for mediation from lifestyle, sleep, lipids, glucose, inflammatory and coagulation markers on the association between job strain and the combination of cardiac death and non-fatal AMI.
Job strain was associated with poor long-term prognosis after a first myocardial infarction. Interventions focusing on reducing stressors at the workplace or on improving coping with work stress in cardiac patients might improve their survival post-AMI.
Journal of Internal Medicine 11/2009; 267(6):599-611. · 6.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the long-term effects of chocolate consumption amongst patients with established coronary heart disease.
In a population-based inception cohort study, we followed 1169 non-diabetic patients hospitalized with a confirmed first acute myocardial infarction (AMI) between 1992 and 1994 in Stockholm County, Sweden, as part of the Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program. Participants self-reported usual chocolate consumption over the preceding 12 months with a standardized questionnaire distributed during hospitalization and underwent a health examination 3 months after discharge. Participants were followed for hospitalizations and mortality with national registries for 8 years.
Chocolate consumption had a strong inverse association with cardiac mortality. When compared with those never eating chocolate, the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios were 0.73 (95% confidence interval, 0.41-1.31), 0.56 (0.32-0.99) and 0.34 (0.17-0.70) for those consuming chocolate less than once per month, up to once per week and twice or more per week respectively. Chocolate consumption generally had an inverse but weak association with total mortality and nonfatal outcomes. In contrast, intake of other sweets was not associated with cardiac or total mortality.
Chocolate consumption was associated with lower cardiac mortality in a dose dependent manner in patients free of diabetes surviving their first AMI. Although our findings support increasing evidence that chocolate is a rich source of beneficial bioactive compounds, confirmation of this strong inverse relationship from other observational studies or large-scale, long-term, controlled randomized trials is needed.
Journal of Internal Medicine 10/2009; 266(3):248-57. · 6.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychosocial factors, including depression and vital exhaustion (VE) are associated with adverse outcome in coronary heart disease (CHD). Women with CHD are poor responders to psychosocial treatment and knowledge regarding which treatment modality works in them is limited. This randomized controlled clinical study evaluated the effect of a 1-year stress management program, aimed at reducing symptoms of depression and VE in CHD women.
Patients were 247 women, < or =75 years, recruited consecutively after a cardiac event and randomly assigned to either stress management (20 2-h sessions) and medical care by a cardiologist, or to obtaining usual health care as controls. Measurements at; baseline (6-8 weeks after randomization), 10 weeks (after 10 intervention sessions), 1 year (end of intervention) and 1-2 years follow-up.
For VE, intention to treat analysis showed effects for time (P < 0.001) and time x treatment interaction (P = 0.005), reflecting that both groups improved over time, and that the decrease of VE was more pronounced in the intervention group. However, the level of VE was higher in the intervention group than amongst controls at baseline, 22.7 vs. 19.4 (P = 0.036) but it did not differ later. The change in depressive symptoms did not differ between the groups.
CHD women attending our program experienced a more pronounced decrease in VE than controls. However, as they had higher baseline levels, due to regression towards the mean we cannot attribute the decrease in VE to the intervention. Whether the program has long-term beneficial effects needs to be evaluated.
Journal of Internal Medicine 04/2008; 263(3):281-93. · 6.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To test the hypothesis that alcohol consumption is positively related to heart rate variability (HRV) in women with coronary heart disease (CHD) and therefore that cardiac autonomic activity is potentially implicated in the mediation of the favourable effects of moderate drinking.
Cross sectional study of female patients who survived hospitalisation for acute myocardial infarction or underwent a revascularisation procedure, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, or coronary artery bypass grafting.
Ambulatory 24 hour ECG was recorded during normal activities. The mean of the standard deviations of all normal to normal intervals for all five minute segments of the entire recording (SDNNI) and the following frequency domain parameters were assessed: total power, high frequency power, low frequency power, and very low frequency power. A standardised questionnaire evaluated self reported consumption of individual alcoholic beverage types: beer, wine, and spirits. Other clinical characteristics, such as age, body mass index, smoking habits, history of diabetes mellitus, menopausal status, educational status, and treatment, were also assessed.
Wine intake was associated with increased HRV in both time and frequency domains independently of other clinical covariates (for example, ln SDNNI was 3.89 among wine drinkers v 3.59 among wine non-drinkers in the multivariate model; p = 0.014). In contrast, consumption of beer and spirits and the total amount of alcohol consumed did not relate significantly to any of the HRV parameters.
Intake of wine, but not of spirits or beer, is positively and independently associated with HRV in women with CHD. These results may contribute to the understanding of the complex relation between alcohol consumption and CHD.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Both heart rate variability (HRV) and inflammatory markers are carrying prognostic information in coronary heart disease (CHD), however, we know of no studies examining their relation in CHD. The aim of this study, therefore, was to assess the association between HRV and inflammatory activity, as reflected by the levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) and C-reactive protein (CRP).
Consecutive women patients who survived hospitalization for acute myocardial infarction, and/or underwent a percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or a coronary artery bypass grafting were included and evaluated in a stable condition 1 year after the index events. An ambulatory 24-h ECG was recorded during normal activities. SDNN index (mean of the standard deviations of all normal to normal intervals for all 5-min segments of the entire recording) and the following frequency domain parameters were assessed: total power, high frequency (HF) power, low frequency (LF) power and very low frequency (VLF) power. Levels of high-sensitivity CRP were measured by nephelometry, IL-6 and IL-1ra concentrations were determined by enzyme immunoassay.
Levels of IL-6 showed an inverse relation with HRV measures even after controlling for potential confounding factors. The P-values were 0.02, 0.04, 0.01, 0.03, 0.18 for the multivariate association with SDDN index, total power, VLF power, LF power and HF power respectively. In contrast, the inverse relationship between HRV measures and CRP or IL-1ra levels were weak and nonsignificant. Correlation coefficients for the relationship between IL-6 and HRV measures were both uni- and multivariately higher than for the relationship between HRV measures and any other factors evaluated in this study.
Concentration of IL-6 showed a negative, independent association with HRV in women with CHD. Thus, increased inflammatory activity, as reflected by IL-6 levels, may represent a new auxiliary mechanism linking decreased HRV to poor prognosis in CHD.
Journal of Internal Medicine 12/2004; 256(5):421-8. · 6.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The thyroid hormone system may be downregulated temporarily in patients who are severely ill. This "euthyroid sick syndrome" may be an adaptive response to conserve energy. However, thyroid hormone also has beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, such as improving cardiac function, reducing systemic vascular resistance, and lowering serum cholesterol levels. We investigated whether thyroid hormone levels obtained at the time of myocardial infarction are associated with subsequent mortality.
Serum levels of thyroid hormones (triiodothyronine [T3], reverse T3, free thyroxine [T4], and thyroid-stimulating hormone) were measured in 331 consecutive patients with acute myocardial infarction (mean age [+/- SD], 68 +/- 12 years), from samples obtained at the time of admission.
Fifty-three patients (16%) died within 1 year. Ten percent (16 of 165) of patients with reverse T3 levels (an inactive metabolite) >0.41 nmol/L (the median value) died within the first week after myocardial infarction, compared with none of the 166 patients with lower levels (P <0.0004). After 1 year, the corresponding figures were 24% (40 of 165) versus 7.8% (13 of 166; P <0.0001). Reverse T3 levels >0.41 nmol/L were associated with an increased risk of 1-year mortality (hazard ratio = 3.0; 95% confidence interval: 1.4 to 6.3; P = 0.005), independent of age, previous myocardial infarction, prior angina, heart failure, serum creatinine level, and peak serum creatine kinase-MB fraction levels.
Determination of reverse T3 levels may be a valuable and simple aid to improve identification of patients with myocardial infarction who are at high risk of subsequent mortality.
The American Journal of Medicine 12/2001; 111(9):699-703. · 4.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Growth hormone therapy after myocardial infarction improves cardiac function and survival in animals. Beneficial effects in humans are reported from studies where patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy were treated with growth hormone. We have studied the role of the endogenous growth hormone system in myocardial infarction.
Fifty-two consecutive patients with acute myocardial infarction were studied during the first 5 days and at follow-up 6 and 12 weeks later. The time from chest pain onset was used in the analyses. The mean growth hormone level within the first 6 h was nearly three times higher (1.1 +/- 0.2 microg. l(-1)) than on the third day (0.4 +/- 0.05 microg. l(-1), P < 0.0002). It remained higher in patients with higher levels of cardiac enzymes, impaired left ventricular function and intense inflammatory response. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) declined slowly but remained within the normal range throughout the whole study period. Patients who died within 2 years had higher levels of growth hormone and lower levels of IGF-1, indicating growth hormone resistance. Endogenous levels of growth hormone or IGF-1 did not correlate with improvement in left ventricular function at 6 weeks.
The growth hormone axis is stimulated early in acute myocardial infarction, particularly in patients with more severe cardiac damage. Whether treatment with growth hormone can be beneficial for patients with heart failure after myocardial infarction remains to be investigated.
European Heart Journal 10/2000; 21(18):1547-54. · 14.10 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine if increased inflammatory activity, as reflected by interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) levels, is present in patients with stable angina pectoris and if IL-6 levels on admission to the coronary care unit in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) are related to heart failure and fever response.
We studied 28 patients with stable angina pectoris enrolled for coronary angiography, and compared them with sex- and age-matched controls. Thirty-four patients with AMI were studied and samples for determination of IL-6 levels were taken on admission within 36 h of onset of symptoms. IL-6 and IL-1ra were determined in serum by enzyme immunoassay.
Levels of IL-6 and IL-1ra were higher in patients with stable angina pectoris than in controls (mean 4.6 +/- 3.6 vs. 3.0 +/- 2.9 ng L-1, P < 0.03, and 774 +/- 509 vs. 490 +/- 511 ng L-1, P < 0.01, respectively). IL-6 and IL-1ra levels were not related to angiographic findings. IL-6 levels were high in patients with AMI (38.9 +/- 75.6 ng L-1). Patients with prolonged fever (duration > 4 days) had higher IL-6 levels (94.7 +/- 138.2 vs. 21.7 +/- 29.7 ng L-1, P < 0.05). IL-6 levels were not related to heart failure.
Our results indicate that increased inflammatory activity is present not only in acute coronary syndromes, but also in a chronic form of ischaemic heart disease, giving further evidence for a central role of inflammatory processes in coronary artery disease. With regard to AMI, we found increased inflammatory activity in patients with prolonged fever.
Journal of Internal Medicine 07/2000; 248(1):61-6. · 6.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early identification of elevated cholesterol in patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI) is of interest as secondary prevention can then be initiated when patients are highly motivated. However, since the lipid pattern changes during acute MI, screening for lipid disturbances is often not performed until 6 months later. We prospectively studied lipid and apolipoprotein levels during acute MI and 3 and 6 months later in 123 consecutive acute MI patients, mean age 64 +/- 10 (SD) years, who were admitted within 24 h from onset of symptoms, mean delay 5.5 h. Blood was taken at admission to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU), the first morning in the CCU, at hospital discharge and at 3 and 6 months follow-up. Patients were fasted overnight except at admission, and no specific dietary advice was given. Total serum cholesterol, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein (apo) A-I concentrations did not differ significantly (1-3%) between CCU admission and the 3 and 6 months control. During the subsequent hospital period, lipid concentrations generally decreased and at discharge were 15-25% below those at 6 months follow-up (P less than 0.001). The highest correlations between immediate CCU determination and 6 months follow-up were obtained for cholesterol (r = +0.71) and apo B (r = +0.67). Thus, lipid levels obtained early at CCU admission in acute MI patients are representative of the patient's baseline levels which are in contrast to those registered later during hospital stay. This information could be used to identify patients for early intervention.
Journal of Internal Medicine 12/1989; 226(5):297-301. · 6.46 Impact Factor