Widowhood and severity of coronary artery disease: a multicenter study

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Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this study was to assess the association of widowhood with the severity and extent of coronary artery disease (CAD), and whether it is modified by sex or socioeconomic status.

Patients and methods

A total of 1068 patients undergoing coronary angiography at five centers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were included in the study. CAD was defined as more than 70% lumen stenosis in a major epicardial vessel or more than 50% in the left main coronary artery. Multivessel disease was defined as more than one diseased vessel.

Results

Of 1068 patients, 65 (6%) were widowed. Widowed patients were older (65±15 vs. 59±12), more likely to be female (75 vs. 25%), less likely to be smokers (18 vs. 47%), of lower economic and education status, and more likely to have undergone coronary angiography for urgent/emergent indications (75 vs. 61%) (P<0.05 for all). There was a significant association between widowhood and the number of coronary arteries with more than 70% lumen stenosis. Consequently, such a high degree of lumen stenosis in those who were widowed was more likely to require coronary artery bypass graft surgery (38 vs. 16%; P<0.01). After adjusting for baseline differences, widowhood was associated with a significantly higher odds of CAD [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 3.6; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2–10.5] and multivessel disease (adjusted OR 4.6; 95% CI 2.2–9.6), but not left main disease (adjusted OR 1.3; 95% CI 0.5–3.1). All associations were consistent in men and women and not modified by age, community setting (urban vs. rural), employment, income, or educational levels (Pinteraction>0.1 for all).

Conclusion

Widowhood is associated with the severity and extent of CAD. The association is not modified by sex or socioeconomic status.

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