Effects of anger on left ventricular ejection fraction in coronary artery disease

Gail Ironson, C. Barr Taylor, Michael Boltwood, Thomas Bartzokis, Charles Dennis, Margaret Chesney, Susan Spitzer, George M. Segall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

169 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the comparative potency of several psychological stressors and exercise in eliciting myocardial ischemia as measured by left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF) changes using radionuclide ventriculography. Twenty-seven subjects underwent both exercise (bicycle) and psychological stressors (mental arithmetic, recall of an incident that elicited anger, giving a short speech defending oneself against a charge of shoplifting) during which EF, blood pressure, heart rate and ST segment were measured. Eighteen subjects had 1-vessel coronary artery disease (CAD), defined by >50% diameter stenosis in 1 artery as assessed by arteriography. Nine subjects served as healthy control subjects. Anger recall reduced EF more than exercise and the other psychological stressors (overall F [3.51] = 2.87, p = .05). Respective changes in EF for the CAD patients were -5% during anger recall, +2% during exercise, 0% during mental arithmetic and 0% during the speech stressor. More patients with CAD had significant reduction in EF (≥7%) during anger (7 of 18) than during exercise (4 of 18). The difference in EF change between patients with CAD and healthy control subjects was significant for both anger (t25 = 2.23, p = 0.04) and exercise (t25 = 2.63, p = 0.01) stressors. In this group of patients with CAD, anger appeared to be a particularly potent psychological stressor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-285
Number of pages5
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Volume70
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 1992

    Fingerprint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

Ironson, G., Taylor, C. B., Boltwood, M., Bartzokis, T., Dennis, C., Chesney, M., Spitzer, S., & Segall, G. M. (1992). Effects of anger on left ventricular ejection fraction in coronary artery disease. The American Journal of Cardiology, 70(3), 281-285. https://doi.org/10.1016/0002-9149(92)90605-X