Women's Health in the Lund Area (WHILA) study. Health problems and acute myocardial infarction in women – A 17-year follow-up study

Susanna Calling, Sven Erik Johansson, Patrik Midlöv, Ashfaque A. Memon, Jan Sundquist, Kristina Sundquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives: The literature has highlighted the importance of identifying symptoms predictive of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in women, in addition to traditional cardiovascular risk factors. The objective was to study subjective health problems, in relation to later AMI, in a large sample of women, adjusted for age, educational status, smoking, waist/hip ratio, blood pressure, total cholesterol/HDL ratio, diabetes and neighbourhood socioeconomic status. Study design: From December 1995 to February 2000 a cohort of 6711 women aged 50–59 years in southern Sweden underwent a physical examination and answered a questionnaire that had 18 items on health problems such as stress symptoms, tiredness and pain. Main outcome measures: Incidence of AMI during a mean follow-up of 17 years, drawn from national registers. Results: The number of health problems showed a J-shaped relationship with AMI, with the lowest hazard ratio (HR) in women with a median of 4 health problems. The HR for AMI in women with 0 health problems was 1.58 (95% CI: 0.95–2.63) and in those with 13 problems HR 1.65 (95% CI 1.16–2.36), after adjusting for potential confounding factors. Conclusions: The presence of several health problems, including pain and stress symptoms, is associated with an increased risk of later AMI in middle-aged women. Awareness among clinicians of predictive risk factors for AMI is important for the early identification of individuals at higher risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Myocardial infarction
  • Risk factors
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Women


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