Phobic anxiety and increased risk of mortality in coronary heart disease.
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OBJECTIVES: To evaluate whether phobic anxiety is associated with increased risk of cardiac mortality in individuals with established coronary heart disease (CHD) and to examine the role of reduced heart rate variability (HRV) in mediating this risk. Previous findings suggest that phobic anxiety may pose increased risk of cardiac mortality in medically healthy cohorts. METHODS: We performed a prospective cohort study in 947 CHD patients recruited during hospitalization for coronary angiography. At baseline, supine recordings of heart rate for HRV were collected, and participants completed the Crown-Crisp phobic anxiety scale. Fatal cardiac events were identified over an average period of 3 years. RESULTS: Female CHD patients reported significantly elevated levels of phobic anxiety when compared with male patients (p < .001), and survival analysis showed an interaction between gender and phobic anxiety in the prediction of cardiac mortality (p = .058) and sudden cardiac death (p = .03). In women, phobic anxiety was associated with a 1.6-fold increased risk of cardiac mortality (hazard ratio, 1.56; 95% confidence interval, 1.15-2.11; p = .004) and a 2.0-fold increased risk of sudden cardiac death (hazard ratio, 2.02; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-3.52; p = .01) and was unassociated with increased mortality risk in men (p = .56). Phobic anxiety was weakly associated with reduced high-frequency HRV in female patients (r = -.14, p = .02), but reduced HRV did not alter the association between phobic anxiety on mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Phobic anxiety levels are high in women with CHD and may be a risk factor for cardiac-related mortality in women diagnosed with CHD. Reduced HRV measured during rest does not seem to mediate phobic anxiety-related risk.
Aged, 80 and over
Blood Pressure Determination
Death, Sudden, Cardiac
Proportional Hazards Models
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181e9f357
Publication InfoBabyak, MA; Blumenthal, James Alan; Davidson, Jonathan RT; McCants, CB; O'Connor, Christopher Michael; Sketch, MH; & Watkins, LL (2010). Phobic anxiety and increased risk of mortality in coronary heart disease. Psychosom Med, 72(7). pp. 664-671. 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181e9f357. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/13056.
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J. P. Gibbons Professor of Psychiatry I
Psychosocial factors and coronary heart disease, including such factors as social support, Type A behavior and hostility, and depression, exercise training and depression in the elderly; behavioral approaches to the treatment of hypertension (e.g., weight loss and exercise); cardiac rehabilitation; neuropsychological outcomes following cardiac surgery; psychosocial aspects of heart and lung transplantation; exercise training and osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia; compliance.
Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Currently, my research focuses upon the theoretical aspects of homeopathy and its clinical utilization, as well as the broader field of alternative (complementary) medicine. this is a field which has traditionally been overlooked as a legitimate scientific discipline. Other areas of activity are as in the past, i.e., clinical treatment, epidemiology, risk factors, pathogenesis of posttraumatic stress, social phobia, other anxiety status, and depression. These are illustrated by recent pu
Richard Sean Stack, M.D. / Guidant Foundation Professor of Cardiology
Dr. O’Connor’s research interests include: acute heart failure; co-morbidities in heart failure; clinical trials; biomarkers; and novel pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches for the treatment of heart failure.
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