Myocardial infarction and coronary death among women: psychosocial predictors from a 20-year follow-up of women in the Framingham Study

Am J Epidemiol. 1992 Apr 15;135(8):854-64. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a116381.


This study investigates the relation of psychosocial variables to the 20-year incidence of myocardial infarction or coronary death among women in the Framingham Study. In 1965-1967, a psychosocial interview was given along with the collection of other coronary risk factor data. This study includes 749 women aged 45-64 years who were free of coronary disease at this baseline examination. Demographic variables, psychosocial scales (such as tension and reactions of anger), and individual interview items (such as attitudes toward children, money, and religion) were measured. When age, systolic blood pressure, the ratio of serum total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, diabetes, cigarette smoking, and body mass index were controlled for in multivariate proportional hazards models, the predictors of the 20-year incidence of myocardial infarction or coronary death were as follows: among employed women, perceived financial status only; among homemakers, symptoms of tension and anxiety, being lonely during the day, difficulty falling asleep, infrequent vacations, housework affecting health, and believing one is prone to heart disease (p less than 0.05 for all variables); and among both groups of women combined, low educational level, tension, and lack of vacations. These results are discussed in relation to previous findings from the Framingham Study.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Behavior
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires