Depressed patients have more frequent chest pain even in the absence of coronary artery disease

Depressed patients have more frequent chest pain even in the absence of coronary artery disease, according to results from the Emory Cardiovascular Biobank presented at ESC Congress today by Dr Salim Hayek, a cardiologist at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, US. The findings suggest that pain and depression may share a common neurochemical pathway.

“Depression is a common and well recognised risk factor for the development of heart disease,” said Dr Hayek. “Patients with known heart disease and depression tend to experience chest pain more frequently. However until now, it was not known whether that association was dependent on underlying coronary artery disease.”

The current study assessed whether depression was associated with chest pain independently of underlying coronary artery disease. The study included 5 825 adults enrolled in the Emory Cardiovascular Biobank between 2004 and 2013. The biobank is a prospective registry of patients undergoing cardiac catheterization at three Emory Healthcare sites in Atlanta.

Full story of depression and chest pain at Science Daily

Almost three-quarters of patients with no coronary heart disease have persistent symptoms

Around one in five patients with chest pain will have no obvious signs of coronary artery disease after investigation, and their symptoms are unlikely to have a physical cause.

But it is not always clear who these patients are, and they often undergo extensive and expensive tests to find out that nothing is wrong with their hearts.

The German authors therefore wanted to test the prevalence of physical and mental symptoms in 253 patients who had been investigated for chest pain/shortness of breath/palpitations and found to have no coronary artery disease.

Full story of persistent symptoms with heart disease patients at Science Daily