A new study from University of Gothenburg, Sweden has found that stress, depression and a sedentary lifestyle might contribute to unexplained chest pain.
Each year, many people seek emergency treatment for unexplained chest, which is not linked to biomedical factors such as heart disease or some other illness.
"Many suffer from recurring bouts of pain over several years, while the healthcare services are unable to find out what's causing it," said lead researcher and a registered nurse Annika Janson Fagring.
In her thesis, Fagring described the symptoms among patients with unexplained chest pain.
"The main difference between women and men with unexplained chest pain is that men were more likely to perceive their lives and jobs as being stressful, while women tended more to suffer from symptoms of depressions and anxiety," said Fagring.
Moreover, compared with the reference group, both the men and the women with unexplained chest pain led a more sedentary lifestyle.
She also looked at the development of symptoms and the prognosis for patients with unexplained chest pain over a period of time, compared with patients suffering from angina and patients who had suffered a heart attack.
A register study revealed that from 1987 up until 2000, the number of patients with diagnosed unexplained chest pain increased, and then leveled out. The number of patients with angina increased up until 1994 and has since fallen, while the number of patients who have suffered heart attacks has fallen throughout the whole period examined.
In addition, there were fewer deaths among patients with unexplained chest pain a year after they became ill, compared with patients that became ill with angina or suffered heart attacks.