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Am J Cardiol. 1991 Jan 15;67(2):121-7.

In-hospital symptoms of psychological stress as predictors of long-term outcome after acute myocardial infarction in men.

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Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Erratum in

  • A J Cardiol 1994 Sep 15;74(6):639.


The impact of high levels of psychological stress symptoms in the hospital after an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was examined over 5 years among 461 men who took part in a trial of psychological stress monitoring and intervention. Psychological stress was assessed using the 20-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) 1 to 2 days before hospital discharge. Once discharged, patients in the treatment group responded to the GHQ by telephone on a monthly basis and, when they reported high levels of stress symptoms (GHQ greater than or equal to 5), received visits from nurses to help them deal with their life problems. Control patients received routine medical care after discharge. Post-hoc subgroup analyses based on life-table methods showed that, for patients receiving routine care after discharge, high stress (GHQ greater than or equal to 5) was associated with a close to threefold increase in risk of cardiac mortality over 5 years (p = 0.0003) and an approximately 1.5-fold increase in risk of reinfarction over the same period (p = 0.09). In contrast, highly stressed patients who took part in the 1-year program of stress monitoring and intervention did not experience any significant long-term increase in risk. Although program impact was significant in terms of reduction of both cardiac mortality (p = 0.006) and AMI recurrences (p = 0.004) among highly stressed patients, there was little evidence of impact among patients with low levels of stress in the hospital.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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