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Research Letter |

Somatic Symptoms in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease: Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Quality of Life

Sebastian Kohlmann, MSc1,3; Benjamin Gierk, MSc1,3; Melanie Hümmelgen, MD2; Stefan Blankenberg, MD2; Bernd Löwe, MD1,3
[+] Author Affiliations
1Departments of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
2Department of General and Interventional Cardiology, University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
3Schon Klinik Hamburg Eilbek, Hamburg, Germany
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(15):1469-1471. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6835.
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A broad spectrum of somatic symptoms is common in primary care, and more than half of medical visits are due to nonspecific symptoms (eg, nausea, headache, dizziness).1 Patients with frequent somatic symptoms show increased health care use, functional impairment, and a decreased quality of life.2 Although patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) might present with more than only cardiac symptoms (such as angina pectoris), research on the prevalence of somatic symptoms and their burden on health is rare and historic.3,4 Numerous studies showing that the somatic-affective component of depression predicts worse cardiac outcomes underpin the importance of examining somatic symptom severity in CHD.5

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