Life Events and Daily Hassles in Patients with Atypical Chest Pain

Lau, George K. K.; Wai Mo Hui; Shiu Kum Lam
October 1996
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Oct1996, Vol. 91 Issue 10, p2157
Academic Journal
The impact of major life events and daily hassles on atypical chest pain is unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship of the occurrence and perception of major life events and daily hassles in atypical chest pain patients. Five groups of subjects were studied. They were healthy controls, atypical chest pain patients without motility/reflux changes, atypical chest pain patients with motility/reflux changes, dyspeptic patients, and patients with chronic obstructive airway disease/peptic ulcer/gallstone. A questionnaire concerning the occurrence and perception of major life events and daily hassles was administered to all five groups of subjects. Using analysis of variance, we found that atypical chest pain patients without underlying motility/reflux changes had significantly higher scores of negative life events and total life events than healthy controls, atypical chest pain patients with underlying motility/reflux changes, and patients with chronic obstructive airway disease/peptic ulcer/gallstone. There were no significant differences between atypical chest pain patients without underlying motility/reflux changes and patients with dyspepsia in terms of the number of negative life events, negative scores, number of positive life events, positive scores, and total life events. Discriminate analysis identified five of the 47 major life events (major changes in sleeping habits, change in work situation, major changes in financial status, retirement, and suffering from severe illness or injury) to be useful for discriminating atypical chest pain patients without underlying motility/reflux changes from the healthy controls and from atypical chest pain patients with underlying motility/reflux changes. The overall correct classification rate was 81.8%. In conclusion, psychological factors, such as perception of negative life events and occurrence and perception of daily hassles, may play a role in the pathogenesis of atypical chest pain.


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