Ventricular ectopy: impact of self-reported stress after myocardial infarction.
BACKGROUND: Although psychologic stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of ventricular arrhythmias, the relationship between self-reported stress and ventricular ectopy has not been evaluated under naturalistic conditions in acute post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients, a group at elevated risk for arrhythmias. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Diary-reported stress was measured during 24-hour Holter monitoring in 80 patients (52 men and 28 women) approximately 12 weeks after their MI. In addition, state and trait anxiety were measured using the Spielberger State and Trait Anxiety Inventory, which was administered at the beginning of the 24-hour Holter monitoring session. The relationships between diary-reported stress, anxiety, and ventricular ectopy were evaluated. RESULTS: Mean diary-reported stress was associated with total ventricular ectopy (beta = .29, P = .01). State anxiety was also associated with 24-hour ectopy (beta = .24, P = .04); however, trait anxiety was not significantly associated with ectopy. Temporal analyses of the relationship between stress and ectopy showed that diary-reported stress was associated with an increase in the number of ventricular premature beats occurring in the following hour (beta = .74, P < .0001). CONCLUSIONS: These findings extend existing evidence linking psychologic factors to ventricular arrhythmias by demonstrating that psychologic stress predicts increased arrhythmic activity during routine daily activities in post-MI patients.
Smith, PJ; Blumenthal, JA; Babyak, MA; Georgiades, A; Sherwood, A; Sketch, MH; Watkins, LL
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