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Associations between ischaemic heart disease and psychiatric morbidity in hospital recruited samples may be confounded by differential referral of patients with co-morbidity. Associations of angina, past history of myocardial infarction, blood pressure, and electrocardiographic evidence of ischaemia with psychiatric disorder can best be examined in community samples as reported here in 2204 middle-aged men from the Caerphilly Collaborative Study. There was a strong association between past history of myocardial infarction, non-specific chest pain, Angina Grade II and psychiatric disorder measured by the 30-item General Health Questionnaire. Electrocardiographic evidence of ischaemia alone was not significantly associated with psychiatric disorder. It is suggested that non-specific chest pain is a symptom of psychiatric disorder; conversely in severe angina psychiatric disorder is secondary to the pain, restricted activity and threat to life which angina implies.


Journal article


Psychol Med

Publication Date





939 - 949


Chest Pain, Comorbidity, Cross-Sectional Studies, Electrocardiography, Heart, Humans, Male, Mental Disorders, Middle Aged, Myocardial Ischemia, Personality Inventory, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors