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February 1974

Recent Life Changes, Myocardial Infarction, and Abrupt Coronary Death: Studies in Helsinki

Author Affiliations

USNR, San Diego, Calif; Helsinki; San Diego, Calif; Helsinki

From the Biochemical Correlates Division, US Navy Medical Neuropsychiatric Research Unit, San Diego, Calif (Dr. Rahe and Ms. Bennett); Ischemic Heart Disease Register, Research Department of the Finnish Heart Association (Drs. Romo and Siltanen); and the Cardiovascular Laboratory, First Department of Medicine, Central University Hospital, Helsinki (Dr. Siltanen).

Arch Intern Med. 1974;133(2):221-228. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320140059006

Recent life-change data were gathered from 279 survivors of documented myocardial infarctions and from 226 cases of abrupt coronary death in Helsinki. In nearly half of the infarction cases, recent lifechange data were also collected through a separate interview of spouses. Spouses provided the life-change data for all coronarydeath victims. In all but one group of subjects, marked elevations in magnitude of life changes during the six months immediately prior to infarction or death were seen, compared to the same time interval one year earlier. This elevation was particularly apparent for sudden-death victims. Women showed recent increases similar to those of men. Spouses agreed moderately well with survivors of myocardial infarction as to survivors' recent life-change data during the preceding year.

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