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April 1957

Emotional Factors in Coronary Occlusion: 1. Introduction and General Summary

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Medicine (Drs. Weiss and Bepler) and Psychiatry (Drs. Dlin and Fischer), Temple University School of Medicine and Hospital. Fulbright Scholar, Horton Hospital, Espsom, England (Dr. Rollin).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;99(4):628-641. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260040128013

"Stress and strain" are regarded by the laity and the medical profession alike as an integral part of the problem of coronary occlusion, but medical observations concerning these factors have been focused chiefly on physical exertion. Except for a few case reports, very little effort has been made to conduct systematic studies from a psy chosomatic standpoint. Perhaps the organic tradition in medicine has encouraged us to think of coronary occlusion as a "purely physical disease," with emphasis on heredity, dietary factors, and easily demonstrable coronary atherosclerosis; but the frequent onset of coronary occlusion during sleep or rest has also inclined observers to minimize emotional stress. Perhaps, too, the unwillingness to attempt psychiatric interviews with a very sick patient is another reason for the failure to study coronary occlusion from an emotional standpoint. Emotional factors have also been neglected in regard to treatment; physical rest and physical measures have been

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