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Chest pain and shortness of breath in cardiovascular disease: a prospective cohort study in UK primary care

Barnett, Lauren A; Prior, James A; Kadam, Umesh T; Jordan, Kelvin P

Chest pain and shortness of breath in cardiovascular disease: a prospective cohort study in UK primary care Thumbnail


Lauren A Barnett

Umesh T Kadam


OBJECTIVE: To determine characteristics associated with monthly chest pain and shortness of breath (SoB) during activity in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and trajectories of these symptoms over 10 months. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Baseline questionnaire was sent to patients aged =40 years from 10 UK general practices. Responders were sent monthly questionnaires for 10 months. For patients with CVD (ischaemic heart disease and heart failure), the association of sociodemographic characteristics, pain elsewhere and anxiety and depression with monthly reports of chest pain and SoB during activity were determined using multilevel, multinomial logistic regression. Common symptom trajectories were determined using dual trajectory latent class growth analysis. RESULTS: 661 patients with CVD completed at least 5?monthly questionnaires. Multiple other pain sites (relative risk ratio: 4.03; 95%?CI 1.64 to 9.91) and anxiety or depression (relative risk ratio: 3.31; 95% CI 1.89 to 5.79) were associated with reporting weekly chest pain. Anxiety or depression (relative risk ratio: 4.10; 95% CI 2.72 to 6.17), obesity (relative risk ratio: 2.53; 95% CI 1.49 to 4.30), older age (80+: relative risk ratio: 2.51; 95% CI 1.19 to 5.26), increasing number of pain sites (4+: relative risk ratio: 4.64; 95% CI 2.35 to 9.18) and female gender (relative risk ratio: 1.81; 95% CI 1.20 to 2.75) were associated with reporting weekly SoB. Eight symptom trajectories were identified, with SoB symptoms more common than chest pain. CONCLUSIONS: Potentially modifiable characteristics are associated with the experience of chest pain and SoB. Identified symptom trajectories may facilitate tailored care to improve outcomes in patients with CVD.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 5, 2017
Online Publication Date May 25, 2017
Publication Date 2017-05
Publicly Available Date May 26, 2023
Journal BMJ Open
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 5
Article Number e015857
Publisher URL


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