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Tracking Recovery After Coronary Events (TRACE) Study

The aim of this study is to understand the factors contributing to emotional distress in patients who experience an acute coronary syndrome (ACS), the relationship between emotional responses and inflammatory, neuroendocrine and autonomic processes, and the relevance of emotional responses to later adaptation and quality of life. This collaborative study between UCL and St George’s University of London is funded primarily by a BHF programme grant held by Professor Steptoe with additional support from Professor Kaski at the Department of Cardiological Sciences at St George’s. This study builds on the successful previous collaboration between UCL and St George’s in this research area.

We have recruited just over 300 patients who were admitted to St. George’s Hospital with ACS confirmed by cardiac enzymes and/or ECG changes. Patients were recruited into the study and interviewed briefly while in hospital, and this was be followed by a more extensive interview at home with patients and their spouses about two weeks post-discharge. Further measures were obtained by telephone interview and questionnaire at 6 months post-admission and we are currently in the process of conducting final telephone interviews and postal questionnaires at 12 months post-admission. Blood samples were drawn during admission for assessment of inflammatory responses, and measures of neuroendocrine function and heart rate variability were taken during the home interview. We expect that learning more about the trajectory of psychological responses and their relationship to biological changes in acute coronary disease will generate insights into management, the promotion of adherence to medication and lifestyle advice, and the prevention of damaging depressive symptoms.

Past and present key researchers involved in this study include Dr Gerry Molloy, Dr Anna Wikman and Ms Gemma Randall.

Page last modified on 11 feb 10 11:40