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Psychosocial risk factors for coronary heart disease

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A consensus statement from the National Heart Foundation of Australia

In 2003, the National Heart Foundation of Australia (NHFA) published a position statement relating to psychosocial risk factors and coronary heart disease (CHD).1 Here, we provide an updated review of the literature on psychosocial stressors, to complement a separate consensus statement from the Expert Working Group on depression and CHD.2 Psychosocial stressors include chronic stressors (in particular, work stress), acute individual stressors (such as bereavement or job loss) and acute population stressors (such as earthquakes and sporting events). The process for developing this consensus statement is described in Box 1. Treatment decisions should take into account the individual clinical circumstances of each patient.

Chronic stressors and coronary heart disease

Chronic work stress

The previous NHFA review found that there was neither strong nor consistent evidence of a causal association…