Psychological Triggers for Plaque Rupture

  • Geoffrey H. ToflerEmail author
  • Alexandra O’Farrell
  • Thomas Buckley


Emotional stress has long been suspected as a trigger for myocardial infarction (MI) and sudden cardiac death. An early description of MI published by Obraztsov and Strazhesko in 1910 noted that ‘Direct events often precipitated the disease; the infarct began in one case on climbing a high staircase, in another during an unpleasant conversation, and in a third during emotional stress associated with a heated card game’.1 However, this link has been regarded with some suspicion, and only with recent advances in understanding of the mechanisms of onset and treatment of acute cardiovascular disease has it become accepted that psychological factors, both acute and chronic, play a significant role in onset of MI, sudden cardiac death and stroke. This chapter will focus on the role of acute psychological stress in the onset of cardiovascular disease.


Psychological triggers Plaque rupture Acute cardiovascular disease Triggers and mechanisms of myocardial infarction (TRIMM) Anger Anxiety Acute depression Bereavement Population stress 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey H. Tofler
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Alexandra O’Farrell
    • 2
  • Thomas Buckley
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Prevantative CardiologyUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of CardiologyRoyal North Shore HospitalSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Sydney Nursing SchoolUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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