Psychosocial risk factors related to ischemic heart disease in women

Tina Varghese, Salim S. Hayek, Nikoloz Shekiladze, William M. Schultz, Nanette K. Wenger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Psychosocial risk factors such as stress and psychiatric disorders are known to have negative impacts on health outcomes, but their effects on ischemic heart disease, particularly in women, remain to be fully understood despite contributing to one-third of the population attributable risk in acute myocardial infarction. Methods: The impact of stress, social isolation, low socioeconomic status, hostility and anger, and stress-related psychiatric disorders on cardiovascular outcomes and the potential mechanisms that underlie their association with ischemic heart disease, with a focus on women, is evaluated. Online search of relevant terms, including the aforementioned risk factors, women, and ischemic heart disease, was utilized to find recent and pertinent trials. Results: Psychosocial risk factors increase cardiovascular risk in both women and men. However, current literature points to a greater degree of adverse cardiovascular events in women who experience these risk factors than in men, but the literature is not as well-defined as the data regarding traditional risk factors and cardiovascular disease. Conclusion: Dedicated study of the sex differences in ischemic heart disease incidence and recurrence, including the impact of psychosocial risk factors, is warranted for the development of appropriate gender-specific diagnostic testing and treatment options in heart disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3853-3870
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Depression
  • Female
  • Ischemic disease
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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