Chest Pain, Panic Disorder and Coronary Artery Disease: A Systematic Review
Gastao L.F. Soares-Filho, Oscar Arias-Carrion, Gaetano Santulli, Adriana C. Silva, Sergio Machado, Alexandre M. Valenca and Antonio E. Nardi
Affiliation: Panic and Respiration Laboratory. Institute of Psychiatry (IPUB) of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Keywords: Chest pain, coronary artery disease, myocardial ischemia, myocardial perfusion, panic anxiety.
Chest pain may be due benign diseases but often suggests an association with coronary artery disease, which
justifies a quick search for medical care. However, some people have anxiety disorder with symptoms that resemble
clearly an acute coronary syndrome. More specifically, during a panic attack an abrupt feeling of fear accompanied by
symptoms such as breathlessness, palpitations and chest pain, makes patients believe they have a heart attack and confuse
physicians about the diagnosis. The association between panic disorder and coronary artery disease has been extensively
studied in recent years and, although some studies have shown anxiety disorders coexisting or increasing the risk of heart
disease, one causal hypothesis is still missing. The aim of this systematic review is to present the various ways in which
the scientific community has been investigating the relation between chest pain, panic disorder and coronary artery
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