02. tbl. 104. árg. 2018

Non-cardiac chest pain and its association with persistent chest pain and poor mental well-being

Ótilgreindir brjóstverkir og tengsl við viðvarandi verkjaupplifun og vanlíðan

Introduction: An estimated 50-75% of visits to cardiac emergency departments are due to chest pain which is non-cardiac in nature (non-cardiac chest pain (NCCP). This study evaluates the prevalence of NCCP in the emergency departments at Landspitali, and assesses its association with continued chest-pain post discharge, mental well-­being and the information-provision provided to NCCP patients during hospitalization.

Material and methods: Participants were 390 patients (18-65 years) presenting with chest pain to the cardiac emergency or the general emergency department at Landspitali from October 2015-May 2016. Measurements included questionnaires assessing somatic symptoms, mental well-being and quality of life, and questions regarding continued chest-pain and information-provision during hospitalization.

Results: In total 72% of participants (282) were considered having NCCP while 24% (92) had cardiac disease. NCCP patients experienced a similar burden of somatic and depressive symptoms, but slightly more anxiety and mental distress than cardiac patients. Equal proportions (60%) of NCCP and cardiac patients reported having experienced chestpain post discharge. Continued chest-pain was, however, associated with greater anxiety (β=0.18, p<0.001) and depression (β=0.18, p<0.003) among NCCP patients. Thirty percent of NCCP patients lacked instructions of how to respond to continued chest-pain and only 40% received information regarding other possible causes of chest pain.

Conclusion: NCCP was prevalent among patients presenting to emergency departments at Landspitali. The majority of NCCP patients experienced continued chest-pain after discharge, and such pain experience was associated with mental distress. A third of NCCP patients lacked information about possible causes for the pain and advice about coping with symptoms.


Table I. Comparison of backround variables stratified by disease status

Table II Camparison of medication use, healt-care utilization and absence from work across patient groups

Table IV Association af continued chest pain after discharge with somatic symptoms, mental well-being, and quality of life

Table V Ratings of non-cardiac chest pain patients and heart patients regarding information provied during hospitalization

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