Cardiac disease and nonorganic chest pain: factors leading to disability

Cardiology. 1995;86(1):15-21. doi: 10.1159/000176824.


Research has shown that many chest pain patients, without coronary artery disease, may suffer from panic disorder, hypochondriasis, depression, and/or multiple phobias. Some patients with coronary artery disease may also suffer from these disorders and are often unable to return to previous activity. In spite of good prognosis for longevity and acceptable exercise test results, a large proportion of these patients continue to be disabled by chest pain and/or chronic cardiac fears and demand constant medical attention. This study examined the psychiatric and behavioral symptomatology that differentiated four groups of patients experiencing chest pain: the able (active/working patient) with and without coronary artery disease, as determined by exercise thallium-201 studies, and the disabled (inactive/nonworking patient) with and without coronary artery disease. The results of the study indicated that the inactive patients, both with and without heart disease, suffered from a host of debilitating psychiatric conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chest Pain / etiology
  • Chest Pain / psychology*
  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Coronary Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Disease / psychology*
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thallium Radioisotopes


  • Thallium Radioisotopes