Anger rumination, social support, and cardiac symptoms in patients undergoing angiography

TC Leon, Arie Nouwen, D Sheffield, Rumi Jaumdally, Gregory Lip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. Socially isolated individuals report more cardiac symptoms, suffer increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and experience higher levels of stress and anxiety than those with more effective support resources. However, the complex interactions of psychosocial factors implicated in the disease process remain to be fully elucidated. We sought to explore these relationships, with the addition of a novel psychosocial variable, anger rumination, which could be associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Design. We examined the association of psychological stress, social support, and anger rumination, with surgical anxiety, self-reported cardiac symptoms, and angiographically documented coronary artery disease, using a correlational ex post facto design. Methods. One hundred and one patients scheduled for elective coronary angiography completed questionnaires during the week prior to angiography. Disease severity was objectively assessed using the Gensini scoring system. Results. Self-reported cardiac symptom severity was significantly correlated with higher perceived stress, less social support, and higher anger rumination, but none of the psychosocial variables predicted Gensini score. Social support partially mediated the relationship between anger rumination and surgical anxiety. Perceived stress mediated the relationship between anger rumination and cardiac symptoms. Conclusions. For patients awaiting angiography, stress, and lack of social support are important predictors of self-reported cardiac symptoms, irrespective of actual disease severity. Intervention could focus on reducing perceived stress by encouraging reappraisal and a support seeking, rather than a ruminative, anger coping style.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-857
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010


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