Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Tracking Recovery after Cardiac Events (TRACE) Study

The aim of this study was 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. 

We 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 the 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. 

TRACE was 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.

Principal Investigators: Professor Andrew Steptoe and Professor Carlos Kaski

Contact: Professor Andrew Steptoe (a.steptoe@ucl.ac.uk)

Collaborators: St George's University of London