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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 261-269

Cardiac risk factors and psychosocial variables in coronary artery disease: A case-control study of the younger population of United Arab Emirates

1 Department of Psychology and Counseling, University, Al Ain, UAE
2 Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Tawam Hospital, Al Ain, UAE

Correspondence Address:
Amber Haque
Department of Psychology and Counseling, UAE University, Al Ain
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1947-489X.210555

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Various psychosocial factors are known to contribute to the development of coronary artery diseases (CAD). However, most of these studies are done in the West and little is known about the contribution of such variables in the younger population of the Arabian Gulf region. Objectives: This study investigated the association of various physical and psychological variables with the development of coronary artery disease among young adults (<45 years old) in the United Arab Emirates. Patients and Methods: A case-control study was conducted with 90 CAD patients who underwent catherization due to heart attack and 90 control subjects selected within public setting during 2011-2012. Patient demographics, personality types, emotional intelligence and stress handling skills were also studied. Results: Eighty eight percent of the CAD patients were expatriates [88% South Asian, 20% Middle Eastern and 1% South East Asian]. Ninety five percent were men and 71% were in their 30s. Ninety two percent came from low socio-economic backgrounds; only 12 % had above high school education and 92% were classified as nonprofessional workers. Majority were married. Patients were more likely to have family history of CAD, diabetes, hypertension, and smoking when compared to controls. Diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and sedentary lifestyle were significantly more frequent among patients. type A personality was more in CAD patients than controls (61% vs 36%; p=<0.01). Patients and controls were significantly different in terms of emotional self-management (p<0.001). All control subjects were classified as emotionally unhealthy whereas 64% of patients were reported being in this category. Only 27% of patients indicated themselves as type D, which did not significantly differ from 29% of the control subjects. There was no significant difference between the two groups in stress handling abilities. Conclusions: This study revealed new findings on the prevalence of psychosocial variables in CAD in this region. Of interest that personality type D, stress handling abilities, and emotional intelligence were not significantly evident as cardiac risk factors in this population. More culturally sensitive measurements are needed to elucidate these findings further.

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