HealthDay News — Stress-related disorders are associated with cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online April 10 in The BMJ.

Huan Song, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Iceland in Reykjavk, and colleagues examined the correlation between stress-related disorders and subsequent risk for cardiovascular disease in a sibling-controlled cohort study. Data were included from 136,637 patients with stress-related disorders in the Swedish National Patient Register, 171,314 unaffected full siblings of these patients, and 1,366,370 matched unexposed population controls.

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The researchers found that among exposed patients, their unaffected siblings, and the matched unexposed controls, the crude incidence rate of any cardiovascular disease was 10.5, 8.4, and 6.9 per 1,000 person-years, respectively, during 27 years of follow-up. The hazard ratio for any cardiovascular disease was 1.64 in sibling-based comparisons, with the highest subtype-specific hazard ratio seen for heart failure during the first year after stress-related disorder diagnosis (hazard ratio, 6.95). The hazard ratios decreased after one year (overall, 1.29; varying from 1.12 for arrhythmia to 2.02 for artery thrombosis/embolus). There was a stronger correlation for stress-related disorders with early-onset cardiovascular diseases versus later-onset cardiovascular diseases (hazard ratio, 1.40 for attained age <50 years versus 1.24 for attained age ≥50 years). Similar results were seen in the population-matched cohort.

“These findings call for enhanced clinical awareness and, if verified, monitoring or early intervention among patients with recently diagnosed stress-related disorders,” the authors write.

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