Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Peggy Mohr


Coronary Disease -- etiology


Acute myocardial infarction is responsible for an extraordinary number of deaths per year in the adult population. Both traditional risk factors (ex., smoking) and non-traditional risk factors (ex., hostility) have been studied for many years in regard to cardiac disease prognosis and progression. Based on past studies, the area of potential psychological cardiac risk factors includes a broad range of characteristics. Difficulties in interpreting and comparing results include a lack of consistent and objective grading criteria and standardized measurements. The problems in this area of study are confounded by difficulties in identifying the definite biological mechanisms through which psychosocial factors may impact cardiac disease. Recent evidence, however, has been encouraging and has increased the scientific interest in this area.

Greater understanding in this area may enhance cardiac care through risk factor modification and effective utilization of a multi-disciplinary medical team. The purpose of this paper is to review literature concerning the relationship between depression, social isolation, and anger/hostility as they relate to coronary artery disease and post-MI prognosis. The procedure will be to examine the current available literature in this area, specifically since 1980, that demonstrates some of the strongest evidence between these associations as well as possible biological mechanisms.