Anxiety, depression, and heart disease in women
- Cite this article as:
- Low, K.G., Thoresen, C.E., Pattillo, J.R. et al. Int. J. Behav. Med. (1994) 1: 305. doi:10.1207/s15327558ijbm0104_2
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This is an extension of previous research that has reported on psychosocial risk factors in women participants in the Recurrent Coronary Prevention Project (RCPP). The RCPP women (N = 83) were under 65 years of age, non-diabetic, non-smoking and had experienced a myocardial infarction (MI) at least 6 months prior to the study. Baseline data was available on 80 RCPP subjects. Seventy three non-smoking, coronary disease-free women participants in the Stanford-Sunnyvale Health Improvement Project (SSHIP) served as a control-comparison group. Women with coronary heart disease had higher serum cholesterol than controls. There were no case-control differences in marital status, occupation, or number of children. RCPP women had Videotaped Structured Interview (VSI) Type A scores comparable to those of the SSHIP women, but had significantly higher VSI-hostility scores (p > .01). In addition, the post-MI women were rated more anxious and depressed, and had more avoidance symptoms than controls (p > .01). Additional analyses involved the 65 RCPP women located at 8.5-year follow-up. In these women, univariate predictors of coronary recurrence (N = 13) were body mass index (kg/m)2, Peel Index, low time urgency (VSI) and high anxiety (p > .01). Employment status, marital status, and education were not associated with subsequent cardiac events. These exploratory analyses suggest that the relations between heart disease and hostility, anxiety, and depression in women deserve further investigation.