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July 1, 1988

Ischemic Cardiac Disease: Damaged Hearts, Lonely Hearts Seem to Act Independently

JAMA. 1988;260(1):15. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410010021005

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WHEN IT COMES to death from ischemic heart disease, damaged hearts and lonely hearts appear to exert their own independent effects. Such is the conclusion of a ten-year study of 150 middleaged men conducted by investigators from Sweden's Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.

The study recruited working men 40 to 65 years of age who fell into one of three groups: those with clinical symptoms of ischemic heart disease, those without symptoms but with recognized risk factors, and apparently healthy men (Acta Med Scand, in press). The men were matched by age and given thorough examinations, including chest roentgenography and measurement of levels of fasting serum lipids and glucose.

Each man wore a Holter monitor for 24 hours. In addition, the men were questioned about marital status, education, occupation, smoking, alcohol consumption, social activities, perception of health status, and the set of behavior characteristics dubbed Type A that some investigators think are