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Psychological Distress and Risk of Peripheral Vascular Disease, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, and Heart Failure: Pooling of Sixteen Cohort Studies

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385–388
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2014


Objectives: Examine the little-tested relation of psychological distress with peripheral vascular disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, and heart failure.

Methods: Pooling of raw data from 166,631 male and female participants in 16 UK-based cohort studies. Psychological distress was measured using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire. Peripheral vascular disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, and heart failure events were based on death register linkage.

Results: During a mean follow up 9.5 years there were 17,368 deaths of which 5922 were cardiovascular disease-related. Relative to the asymptomatic group (0 score), the highly distressed group (score 7-12) experienced an elevated risk of peripheral vascular disease (adjusted hazard ratio; 95% confidence interval: 3.39; 1.97, 5.82) and heart failure (1.76; 1.37, 2.26). Psychological distress was weakly related to the risk of death from abdominal aortic aneurysm. As anticipated, distress was associated with cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and all strokes combined.

Conclusions: We provide new evidence of mental health-related cardiovascular disease presentations relevant to primary care physicians.

    Research areas

  • epidemiology, mental health, cardiovascular disease, psychological distress, peripheral vascular disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, heart failure

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