In a study of 138 patients with stable coronary artery disease who underwent mental stress tests, gated equilibrium radionuclide ventriculography showed that 26 patients experienced myocardial ischemia during the tests. A follow-up of a median of 5.9 years showed 17 nonfatal myocardial infarctions and 15 deaths. The events occurred more in patients who became ischemic during the psychological tests. The findings suggest that mental stress can trigger changes in heart functions that could lead to adverse events, the researchers said.
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