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Psychosocial Stressors & AF in Older Women

Am J Cardiol; ePub 2018 Aug 17; Westcott, et al

Among women aged >45 years, traumatic life events were associated with atrial fibrillation (AF), a recent study found. Researchers examined the cross-sectional relationships between psychosocial stress and AF among 24,809 women from the Women’s Health Study (WHS). Participants answered questions about work stress, work-family spillover stress, financial stress, traumatic life events, everyday discrimination, intimate partner stress, neighborhood stress, negative life events within 5 years, and cumulative stress. Among the findings:

  • The prevalence of confirmed AF was 3.84% (n=953) and risk factor profiles differed by AF status.
  • Women with AF reported significantly higher financial stress, traumatic life events, and neighborhood stress.
  • However, only traumatic life events (OR=1.37) were significantly associated with AF after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors, and socioeconomic and psychosocial status.


Westcott SK, Beach LY, Matsushita F, et al. Relationship between psychosocial stressors and atrial fibrillation in women >45 years of age. [Published online ahead of print August 17, 2018]. Am J Cardiol. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2018.07.044.

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