Article Text

PDF
Research paper
Is psycho-physical stress a risk factor for stroke? A case-control study

Abstract

Background Chronic stress is associated with cardiovascular diseases, but the link with stroke has not been well established. Stress is influenced by life-style habits, personality type and anxiety levels. We sought to evaluate psycho-physical stress as a risk factor for stroke, while assessing gender influences.

Methods Case-control study. Cases: patients (n=150) aged 18–65, admitted consecutively to our Stroke Unit with the diagnosis of incident stroke. Controls: (n=300) neighbours (paired with case ±5 years) recruited from the census registry. Study variables: socio-demographic characteristics, vascular risk factors, psychophysical scales of H&R (Holmes & Rahe questionnaire of life events), ERCTA (Recall Scale of Type A Behaviour), SF12 (QoL scale), GHQ28 (General Health Questionnaire). Statistical analyses included conditional multiple logistic regression models.

Results Mean age was 53.8 years (SD: 9.3). Compared with controls, and following adjustment for confounding variables, significant associations between stroke and stress were: H&R values >150 OR=3.84 (95% CI 1.91 to 7.70, p<0.001); ERCTA (values >24) OR=2.23 (95% CI 1.19 to 4.18, p=0.012); mental SF12 (values >50) OR=0.73 (95% CI 0.39 to 1.37, p=0.330); psychological SF12 (values >50) OR=0.66 (95% CI 0.33 to 1.30, p=0.229), male gender OR=9.33 (95% CI 4.53 to 19.22, p<0.001), high consumption of energy-providing beverages OR=2.63 (95% CI 1.30 to 5.31, p=0.007), current smoker OR=2.08 (95% CI 1.01 to 4.27, p=0.046), ex-smoker OR=2.35 (95% CI 1.07 to 5.12, p=0.032), cardiac arrhythmia OR=3.18 (95% CI 1.19 to 8.51, p=0.022) and Epworth scale (≥9) OR=2.83 (95% CI 1.03 to 7.78, p=0.044).

Conclusions Compared with healthy age-matched individuals, stressful habits and type A behaviour are associated with high risk of stroke. This association is not modified by gender.

  • Stress
  • stroke
  • cerebrovascular disease
  • neuroepidemiology
  • quality of life
  • subarachnoid haemorrhage, ultrasound

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.