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Is mental stress a risk factor of acute coronary syndrome? – A case–control study

Indra Murali.


Background: The burden of the cardiovascular disease is on rise throughout the world. Especially in India due to changing food habits, life style changes such as lack of physical activity, sedentary life style, and mental stress all add to the increase in the risk factors for acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Cardiovascular disease has become the leading cause of death. Our country, India has got highest number of deaths due to coronary artery disease in the world. Hence, the health burden is high in India with regard to coronary artery disease.

Aims and Objectives: This study aimed to find out is mental stress a risk factor for ACS.

Materials and Methods: This is a case–control study. Mental stress was assessed using perceived stress scale by Sheldon Cohen. Sample size of the study was 160 which include 80 cases and 80 controls.

Results: Among cases, 73.8% had high stress and among controls, 35% had high stress. Odds ratio for high stress obtained in this study is 5.22 with 95% CI (2.65–10.27). Persons with high stress have 5.22 times more risk of developing ACS than the persons without high stress.

Conclusion: In this study, it is proved that persons with high mental stress are a risk factor for ACS (as the persons with high mental stress have 5.5 times more risk of developing ACS). Hence, it is mandatory to focus on stress reduction measures to bring down the occurrence of ACS.

Key words: Mental Stress; Acute Coronary Syndrome; Risk Factor

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