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1.  Immigrant status and increased risk of heart failure: the role of hypertension and life-style risk factors 
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.
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.
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.
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.
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) 
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).
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%.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3160986  PMID: 21777467
3.  Swedish snuff and incidence of cardiovascular disease. A population-based cohort study 
The relationship between smoking and an increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases is well known. Whether smokeless tobacco (snuff) is related to myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke is still controversial. Aim of this study was to explore whether snuff users have an increased incidence of MI or stroke.
A total of 16 754 women and 10 473 men (aged 45–73 years), without history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), belonging to the population-based "Malmö Diet and Cancer" study were examined. Incidence of MI and stroke were monitored over 10.3 years.
Snuff was used by 737 (7.0%) men and 75 (0.4%) women, respectively. Among men, snuff was significantly associated with low occupation level, single civil status, high BMI and with current and former smoking. In women, snuff was associated with lower systolic blood pressure. A total of 964 individuals (3.5%), i.e.544 men (5.3%) and 420 (2.5%) women suffered a MI during the follow-up period. The corresponding numbers of incident stroke cases were 1048, i.e. 553 men (5.3%) and 495 (3.0%) women, respectively. Snuff was not associated with any statistically significant increased risk of MI or stroke in men or women. The relative risks (RR) in male snuff users compared to non-users were 1.05 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.8–1.4, p = 0.740) for incident MI and 0.97 (0.7–1.4, p = 0.878) for stroke, after taking age and potential confounders into account. In women none of the 420 (2.5%) women who were snuff users had a MI and only one suffered a stroke during the follow-up.
Several life-style risk factors were more prevalent in snuff-users than in non-users. However, the present study does not support any relationship between snuff and incidence of cardiovascular disease in men.
PMCID: PMC2695419  PMID: 19473535

Results 1-3 (3)