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Psychological distress as a risk factor for death from cerebrovascular disease

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journal contribution
posted on 30.10.2015 by Mark Hamer, Mika Kivimaki, Emmanuel Stamatakis, G. David Batty
Background: Little is known about psychological risk factors in cerebrovascular disease. We examined the association between psychological distress and risk of death due to cerebrovascular disease. Methods: We obtained data from 68 652 adult participants of the Health Survey for England (mean age 54.9 [standard deviation 13.9] yr, 45.0% male sex) with no known history of cardiovascular diseases at baseline. We used the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) to assess the presence of psychological distress. We followed participants for eight years for cause-specific death using linkage to national registers. Results: There were 2367 deaths due to cardiovascular disease during follow-up. Relative to participants with no symptoms of psychological distress (GHQ-12 score 0) at baseline, people with psychological disress (GHQ-12 score ≥ 4, 14.7% of participants) had an increased risk of death from cerebrovascular disease (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.66, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.32–2.08) and ischemic heart disease (adjusted HR 1.59, 95% CI 1.34–1.88). There was also evidence of a dose–response effect with increasing GHQ-12 score (p for trend < 0.001 in all analyses). Associations were only marginally attenuated after we adjusted for possible confounders, including socioeconomic status, smoking and use of antihypertensive medications. Interpretation: Psychological distress was associated with increased risk of death due to cerebrovascular disease in a large population representative cohort. These data suggest that the cardiovascular effects of psychological distress are not limited to coronary artery disease.

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  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Canadian Medical Association journal

Citation

HAMER, M. ...et al., 2012. Psychological distress as a risk factor for death from cerebrovascular disease. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 184(13), pp. 1461-1466.

Publisher

© Canadian Medical Association

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publication date

2012

Notes

This paper is posted with the permission of the publisher and it is not to be reproduced.

ISSN

0008-4409

Language

en

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