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1.  Immigrant status and increased risk of heart failure: the role of hypertension and life-style risk factors 
Background
Studies from Sweden have reported association between immigrant status and incidence of cardiovascular diseases. The nature of this relationship is unclear. We investigated the relationship between immigrant status and risk of heart failure (HF) hospitalization in a population-based cohort, and to what extent this is mediated by hypertension and life-style risk factors. We also explored whether immigrant status was related to case-fatality after HF.
Methods
26,559 subjects without history of myocardial infarction (MI), stroke or HF from the community-based Malmö Diet and Cancer (MDC) cohort underwent a baseline examination during 1991-1996. Incidence of HF hospitalizations was monitored during a mean follow-up of 15 years.
Results
3,129 (11.8%) subjects were born outside Sweden. During follow-up, 764 subjects were hospitalized with HF as primary diagnosis, of whom 166 had an MI before or concurrent with the HF. After adjustment for potential confounding factors, the hazard ratios (HR) for foreign-born were 1.37 (95% CI: 1.08-1.73, p = 0.009) compared to native Swedes, for HF without previous MI. The results were similar in a secondary analysis without censoring at incident MI. There was a significant interaction (p < 0.001) between immigrant status and waist circumference (WC), and the increased HF risk was limited to immigrants with high WC. Although not significant foreign-born tended to have lower one-month and one-year mortality after HF.
Conclusions
Immigrant status was associated with long-term risk of HF hospitalization, independently of hypertension and several life-style risk factors. A significant interaction between WC and immigrant status on incident HF was observed.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-12-20
PMCID: PMC3325899  PMID: 22443268
Immigrant status; heart failure; risk factors; cohort study; case-fatality; epidemiology
2.  Behavior in a stressful situation, personality factors, and disease severity in patients with acute myocardial infarction: baseline findings from the prospective cohort study SECAMI (The Secondary Prevention and Compliance following Acute Myocardial Infarction-study) 
Background
Psychosocial stress has been identified as a risk factor in association with cardiovascular disease but less attention has been paid to heterogeneity in vulnerability to stress. The serial Color Word Test (CWT) measures adaptation to a stressful situation and it can be used to identify individuals that are vulnerable to stress. Prospective studies have shown that individuals with a maladaptive behavior in this test are exposed to an increased risk of future cardiovascular events. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether maladaptive behavior in the serial CWT alone or in combination with any specific personality dimension was associated with severity of myocardial infarction (MI).
Methods
MI-patients (n = 147) completed the test and filled in a personality questionnaire in close proximity to the acute event. The results were analyzed in association with four indicators of severity: maximum levels above median of the cardiac biomarkers troponin I and creatine kinase-MB (CKMB), Q-wave infarctions, and a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤ 50%.
Results
Maladaptive behavior in the serial CWT together with low scores on extraversion were associated with maximum levels above median of cardiac troponin I (OR 2.97, CI 1.08-8.20, p = 0.04) and CKMB (OR 3.33, CI 1.12-9.93, p = 0.03). No associations were found between the combination maladaptive behavior and low scores on extraversion and Q-wave infarctions or a decreased LVEF.
Conclusions
Maladaptive behavior in combination with low scores on extraversion is associated with higher cardiac biomarker levels following an MI. The serial CWT and personality questionnaires could be used to identify individuals vulnerable to the hazardous effects of stress and thereby are exposed to an increased risk of a more severe infarction.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-11-45
PMCID: PMC3160986  PMID: 21777467
3.  The impact of personality factors on delay in seeking treatment of acute myocardial infarction 
Background
Early hospital arrival and rapid intervention for acute myocardial infarction is essential for a successful outcome. Several studies have been unable to identify explanatory factors that slowed decision time. The present study examines whether personality, psychosocial factors, and coping strategies might explain differences in time delay from onset of symptoms of acute myocardial infarction to arrival at a hospital emergency room.
Methods
Questionnaires on coping strategies, personality dimensions, and depression were completed by 323 patients ages 26 to 70 who had suffered an acute myocardial infarction. Tests measuring stress adaptation were completed by 180 of them. The patients were then categorised into three groups, based on time from onset of symptoms until arrival at hospital, and compared using logistic regression analysis and general linear models.
Results
No correlation could be established between personality factors (i.e., extraversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness) or depressive symptoms and time between onset of symptoms and arrival at hospital. Nor was there any significant relationship between self-reported patient coping strategies and time delay.
Conclusions
We found no significant relationship between personality factors, coping strategies, or depression and time delays in seeking hospital after an acute myocardial infraction.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-11-21
PMCID: PMC3123302  PMID: 21595967

Results 1-3 (3)