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Are negative aspects of social relations predictive of angina pectoris? A 6-year follow-up study of middle-aged Danish women and men
  1. Rikke Lund,
  2. Naja Hulvej Rod,
  3. Ulla Christensen
  1. Section of Social Medicine, Institute of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rikke Lund, Section of Social Medicine, Institute of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, Postbox 2099, DK-1014 Copenhagen K, Denmark; r.lund{at}


Background Social relations have been shown to be protective against ischaemic heart disease (IHD), but little is known about the impact of negative aspects of the social relations on IHD.

Methods During a 6-year follow-up, the authors aimed to assess if negative aspects of social relations were associated with angina pectoris among 4573 middle-aged Danish men and women free of heart disease at baseline in 2000.

Results Nine per cent experienced onset of symptoms of angina pectoris. A higher degree of excessive demands or worries from the social relations was associated with increased risk of angina after adjustment for age, gender, social class, cohabitation status and depression in a dose–response manner. For example, experiencing excessive demands or worries always/often from different roles in the social relations was associated with an increased risk: partner OR=3.53 (1.68 to 7.43), children OR=2.19 (1.04 to 4.61), other family OR=1.91 (1.24 to 2.96). Except for frequent conflicts with the partner and neighbours, conflicts with the social relations was not a risk factor for angina. The authors found no interaction of negative aspects of social relations with gender, age, social class, cohabitation status or depression in terms of angina.

Conclusion Excessive demands and serious worries from significant others seem to be important risk factors for development of angina pectoris.

  • Social support
  • angina pectoris
  • gender
  • follow-up study
  • ischaemic heart DIS
  • social epidemiology
  • social support

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.