Unexplained Chest Pain Can Be Due To Stress
many people seek emergency treatment for unexplained chest pains. A
thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden,
indicates several common factors among those affected, including stress
at work, anxiety, depression and a sedentary lifestyle.
Chest pain is
a common reason for patients to seek emergency treatment. A
considerable number of patients are diagnosed with unexplained chest
pain, which means that the pain cannot be linked to biomedical factors
such as heart disease, or some other illness. The patient group is
significant in size, with just over 20,000 patients seeking hospital
treatment in 2006, and so far researchers have been unable to identify
specific causes for unexplained chest pain.
from recurring bouts of pain over several years, while the healthcare
services are unable to find out what's causing it," says Registered
nurse Annika Janson Fagring, the author of the thesis.
thesis, Annika Janson Fagring describes and analyses symptoms among
patients with unexplained chest pain. The results show that most of
them are middle-aged, and that over a third of those affected were born
outside Sweden. The chest pain had a negative impact on the
patients’ daily life in the form of tiredness, anxiety and fear
difference between women and men with unexplained chest pain is that
men were more likely to perceive their lives and jobs as being
stressful, while women tended more to suffer from symptoms of
depressions and anxiety," says Annika Janson Fagring.
both men and women, experienced more symptoms of depression and
anxiety, and work-related stress when compared with a reference group
of people who were not suffering from heart disease. The male patients
were more physically active in their spare time than the female
patients, but compared with the reference group, both the men and the
women with unexplained chest pain led a more sedentary lifestyle.
also looks at the development of symptoms and the prognosis for
patients with unexplained chest pain over a period of time, compared
with patients suffering from angina and patients who had suffered a
heart attack. A register study revealed that from 1987 up until 2000,
the number of patients with diagnosed unexplained chest pain increased,
and then levelled out. The number of patients with angina increased up
until 1994 and has since fallen, while the number of patients who have
suffered heart attacks has fallen throughout the whole period examined.
fewer deaths among patients with unexplained chest pain a year after
they became ill, compared with patients that became ill with angina or
suffered heart attacks. Deaths among men a year after falling ill with
unexplained chest pain were a third higher compared with men in the
rest of the population, while women did not display any increased risk
Fagring says that the thesis shows that it is important to improve
knowledge andunderstanding of the symptoms experienced by patients with
unexplained chest pain, in order to be able to offer more
the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Institute of Health and Care
Sciences at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.
For more information on the University of Gothenburg, visit www.gu.se