Perceived stress as a predictor of the self-reported new diagnosis of symptomatic CHD in older women

Int J Behav Med. 2003;10(3):205-20. doi: 10.1207/s15327558ijbm1003_02.


This article describes one aspect of a prospective cohort study of 10,432 women aged between 70 and 75 years. After a 3-year period, 503 women self-reported a new diagnosis by a doctor of angina or myocardial infarction (symptomatic coronary heart disease [CHD]). Time one psychosocial variables (Duke Social Support Index, time pressure, Perceived Stress Scale, Mental Health Index, having a partner, educational attainment, and location of residence) were analyzed using univariate binary logistic regression for their ability to predict subsequent symptomatic CHD. Of these variables, the Duke Social Support Index, Perceived Stress Scale and the Mental Health Index were found to be significant predictors of symptomatic CHD diagnosis. Only the Perceived Stress Scale, however, proved to be a significant independent predictor. After controlling for time one nonpsychosocial variables, as well as the frequency of family doctor visits, perceived stress remained a significant predictor of the new diagnosis of symptomatic CHD in this cohort of older women over a 3-year period.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Coronary Disease / etiology*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires