Volume 18, Issue 1 (January 1973)
Emotional Stress as a Precipitating Factor in Sudden Deaths Due to Coronary Insufficiency
The association of attacks of coronary insufficiency to episodes of physical effort is now seldom in doubt. On the other hand their association with bouts of emotional stress has not been so well recognized or universally accepted. A large number of autopsies were performed for the coroner on victims of sudden coronary deaths. The case histories of a number of these victims indicated that death was precipitated by some emotional factor. The intention here is not to present a statistical epidemiological analysis of the situation—largely because this is an impracticable proposition for it is often difficult or even impossible to obtain a proper and reliable eyewitness account of the attendant circumstances—but rather to describe some relevant, reliably documented cases of sudden coronary deaths related to a range of emotional behavior patterns, including anger, grief, depression, fright, and excitement.