Men deny and women cry, but who dies? Do the wages of "denial" include early ischemic coronary heart disease?


OBJECTIVES In this study patients with documented ischemic coronary heart disease (ICHD; prior MI or CAD per catheterization) were tested for the association of various measures of emotional distress with Age at Initial Diagnosis. METHODS The measures were chosen because of a published track record at predicting mortality in this population. Females were oversampled to achieve equivalent numbers of each sex (n=50), and thus equivalent statistical power. In a subset of patients (38 males and 32 females), Spouse/Friend Ketterer Stress Symptom Frequency Checklists (KSSFCs) were received. RESULTS Females reported more depression and anxiety than males. However, spouses or friends reported more anger for males. Denial (spouse/friend minus self-ratings) was greater in males for all three scales of the KSSFC (Anger, P=.005; Depression, P=.024; Anxiety, P=.001). Although females showed the same trend, self and spouse or friend ratings of distress were significantly associated with Age at Initial Diagnosis only in males. When split at the sample mean on the Spouse/Friend KSSFC AIAI (Anger) scale, Age at Initial Diagnosis occurred 14.2 years earlier in males. CONCLUSIONS Use of a significant other in assessing psychosocial/emotional distress in males may confer greater accuracy, and therefore predictive power for clinical endpoints.


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@article{Ketterer2004MenDA, title={Men deny and women cry, but who dies? Do the wages of "denial" include early ischemic coronary heart disease?}, author={Mark W. Ketterer and Johann Denollet and Jeanine Chapp and Beth Thayer and Steve J. Keteyian and Vivian L Clark and Sarine John and Amjad Farha and Sangita Deveshwar}, journal={Journal of psychosomatic research}, year={2004}, volume={56 1}, pages={119-23} }