Anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and stressful life events in non-cardiac adolescent chest pain: a comparative study about the hidden part of the iceberg

Eliacik K., Kanik A., BOLAT N., Mertek H., Guven B., Karadas U., ...More

CARDIOLOGY IN THE YOUNG, vol.27, no.6, pp.1098-1103, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s1047951116002109
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1098-1103
  • Keywords: Chest pain, depression, suicidal thoughts, stressful life events, adolescents, PSYCHOSOMATIC COMPLAINTS, BULLYING BEHAVIOR, SYMPTOMS, CHILDREN, ASSOCIATIONS, CHILDHOOD, DISEASE
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Chest pain in adolescents is rarely associated with cardiac disease. Adolescents with medically unexplained chest pain usually have high levels of anxiety and depression. Psychological stress may trigger non-cardiac chest pain. This study evaluated risk factors that particularly characterise adolescence, such as major stressful events, in a clinical population. The present study was conducted on 100 adolescents with non-cardiac chest pain and 76 control subjects. Stressful life events were assessed by interviewing patients using a 36-item checklist, along with the Children's Depression Inventory and Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for children, in both groups. Certain stressful life events, suicidal thoughts, depression, and anxiety were more commonly observed in adolescents with non-cardiac chest pain compared with the control group. Moreover, binary logistic regression analysis showed that trouble with bullies, school-related problems, and depression may trigger non-cardiac chest pain in adolescents. Non-cardiac chest pain on the surface may point to the underlying psychosocial health problems such as depression, suicidal ideas, or important life events such as academic difficulties or trouble with bullies. The need for a psychosocial evaluation that includes assessment of negative life events and a better management have been discussed in light of the results.