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The Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology (Vol#2)


Coronary Heart Disease, Psychological Factors


Cardiovascular disease represents the leading cause of death globally, which includes mortality due to stroke and coronary heart disease (CHD); of these two forms of cardiovascular disease, CHD accounts for more deaths annually (World Health Organization, 2015). The primary features of CHD include plaque development in the coronary arteries (atherosclerosis), heart attack (myocardial infarct), and acute chest pain (angina; Labarthe, 1998). The traditional risk factors for CHD include age, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, inactive lifestyle, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and family history of the disease (World Heart Federation, 2015). Epidemiologic evidence suggests that traditional risk factors of CHD may account for 58–75% of new cases (Beaglehole & Magnus, 2002). Other predictors of CHD may include stress‐related psychosocial factors at a person level (e.g., dispositional hostility and depression) and/or environmental level (e.g., chronic work‐related stress and lack of social support; Albus, 2010).


Vella, E.J. (2021). Psychosocial factors in coronary heart disease. In M.L. Robbins and K. Sweeney (Eds.), The Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology (Vol#2): The social bases of health behavior (pp. 529-535). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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