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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 1998 Nov 7;142(45):2468-72.

[Unexplained non-cardiac chest pain; its prevalence and natural course].

[Article in Dutch]

Author information

1
Afd. Psychiatrie, Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum, Oegstgeest.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

(a) To assess whether data on prevalence and natural course of unexplained chest pain are similar to previous results reported for patients with unexplained chest pain in foreign literature; (b) to find biographical or medical record variables predictive of continuing pain.

DESIGN:

Retrospective research of medical records.

SETTING:

University Medical Centre and Diaconessenhuis (peripheral hospital), Leiden, the Netherlands.

METHOD:

Medical records of patients who had been newly referred between 1992 and 1995 to the cardiac outpatient clinic were screened on the discharge diagnosis: unexplained chest pain. Patients were approached by mail with a questionnaire, inquiring about duration, frequency, intensity, functional limitations and medical consumption with regard to their unexplained chest pain.

RESULTS:

In 39.8% (1053/2648) of the patients, no explanation was found for their complaints. After 12 and 24 months, 72% and 56% respectively reported still having complaints. 37% experienced limitations in daily activities at the time of the investigation. Sex and duration of pain before visiting the cardiologist were predictors of the persistence of chest pain. 31% of the patients did consult their general practitioner at least once more after the discharge by the cardiologist.

CONCLUSION:

Unexplained chest pain is a common complaint of patients visiting an outpatient clinic for cardiology and often persists. The present results are largely similar to those reported in foreign literature.

PMID:
10028328
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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