The goals of this career development award are designed enable the candidate to develop a program of independent research examining the relationship between anxiety disorders and coronary heart disease (CHD). This study would contribute to the investigator's long-term career goal of examining the relationship between anxiety disorders and medical illness, such as CHD. There is a relatively well-established link between emotional and behavioral variables and the risk for CHD. Despite the comorbidity of anxiety and depressive disorders, the lines of research investigating these conditions and CHD have remained largely independent of one another. Further, despite it being more prevalent than and often pre-dating the onset of depression, less attention has been paid to the relationship between anxiety and CHD. The existing research focusing on anxiety disorders in those at risk for or who have CHD is limited by the use of descriptive, rather than state-of-the-art diagnostic measures of psychopathology. It remains unclear to what extent clinically significant anxiety disorders serve as independent risk factors and may be influential in the development of CHD. In order to address the risk that anxiety disorders pose in CHD prone individuals, the initial phase of this award will allow the investigator to develop background in areas related to the interface between cardiology and psychology including psychosocial epidemiology, biostatistics, psychophysiological assessment, and scanning technology related to CHD. Existing epidemiological databases that assess CHD will be utilized to determine whether anxiety disorders are independently related to the development of CHD. The 2 nd phase of the award will be used to apply the skills acquired in coursework and in analyzing existing data to execute a study comparing a sample of anxiety disordered subjects to a matched control group based on anxiety symptoms (severity, frequency, duration), cardiac calcium as assessed by electron beam tomography, lipid levels, and heart rate variability. The investigator is in the unique position of having access to individuals who are being screened for CHD using EBT as well as having access mentors and collaborators involved in multicenter cardiovascular research (Drs. Lynda Powell, Peter Buttrick, Kiang Liu, George Kondos), psychophysiological research (Dr. Stephen Porges) and who are experienced in the psychopathology and treatment of anxiety disorders (Dr. Richard Heimberg).
|Marker, Craig D; Carmin, Cheryl N; Ownby, Raymond L (2008) Cardiac anxiety in people with and without coronary atherosclerosis. Depress Anxiety 25:824-31|
|Carmin, Cheryl N; Ownby, Raymond L; Wiegartz, Pamela S et al. (2008) Women and non-cardiac chest pain: gender differences in symptom presentation. Arch Womens Ment Health 11:287-93|