Abstract 17072: Relationship Between Anxiety and Subclinical Carotid Atherosclerosis: The PREVENCION Study
Objectives: Previous studies regarding the association of subclinical atherosclerosis and anxiety have yielded conflicting results. Most studies have used coronary calcium as an atherosclerotic surrogate. Carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) is an early marker of subclinical atherosclerosis and an independent predictor of cardiovascular risk. Little data exist regarding the association between anxiety and carotid atherosclerosis. We aimed to determine the relationship between anxiety and cIMT and carotid plaque among unselected adults from the community.
Methods: We studied 366 adults (158 men and 208 women) enrolled in a population-based study in Peru (PREVENCION study). cIMT was measured with high-resolution ultrasonography. Anxiety levels were assessed with the validated HADS anxiety score.
Results: The anxiety HADS score did not correlate with classic cardiovascular risk factors. In stepwise linear regression, selected independent predictors of cIMT among men were age (Standardized estimate=0.62; P<0.0001) the HADS score (Standardized estimate=0.16; P<0.0001), systolic blood pressure (Standardized estimate=0.14; P=0.005) and diabetes mellitus (Standardized estimate=0.14; P=0.02). The HADS score was second only to age as a predictor of cIMT in men. In contrast, the HADS score did not predict cIMT in women. Predictors of cIMT selected in stepwise regression among women included age (Standardized estimate=0.65; P<0.0001) and systolic blood pressure (Standardized estimate=0.17; P=0.005). Results regarding the presence of focal carotid plaque were very similar.
Conclusions: In this Hispanic population, we found an important, independent relationship between anxiety and subclinical carotid atherosclerosis among men but not women. This relationship was independent of classical risk factors. Further studies are required to assess the mechanistic determinants of this association and assess whether interventions to decrease anxiety levels may retard the progression of early atherosclerosis.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.