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February 14, 1977

Emotional Stress and Cardiac Disease

Author Affiliations

West Newton, Mass

JAMA. 1977;237(7):641. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270340027004

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To the Editor.—  The description by Drs Eliot and Forker (236:2325, 1976) is valuable in describing an important aspect of the complex interaction between emotion and cardiac diseases. It is not the absence of mention of the reverse relationship of "emotional stress" secondary to cardiac disease that concerns me.The virtual dismissal, however, of the valuable assets of psychotherapy and psychopharmacology in treating emotional stress is a glaring omission, not to be ignored.I am fully aware of the sentence, "If the individual cannot talk frankly about the origin of his excessive emotional stress to his physician, he should find a proper outlet, such as his wife, his minister, or a group therapy situation."If a patient does have difficulty in talking with one of his physicians, it is certainly possible that he may profit from working with a member of the medical profession who specializes in the treatment of