PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the accumulated number of job losses and broken partnerships (defined as the end of cohabitation) on the risk of fatal and nonfatal events of ischemic heart disease (IHD). METHODS: Prospective birth cohort study with follow-up of events of IHD from 1993 to 2004. Participants were 8365 men born in the metropolitan area of Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1953. Events of IHD were retrieved from the Danish National Patient Register and the Cause of Death Registry. Job losses and broken partnerships were identified in the Social Registers. We included mother's marital status and father's occupation at birth, body mass index at 18 years, and own educational attainment as covariates. RESULTS: We found that only broken partnerships were associated with IHD (1.28 95% confidence interval 1.02-1.58) and the subdiagnoses of other IHD (1.37 95% confidence interval 1.02-1.85). We found no indication of dose-response relationship between number of events and risk of IHD. CONCLUSION: In this study of middle-aged men, we found only weak support for the effect of psychosocial stress on IHD measured with register based life events; we found that IHD was associated with broken partnerships but not with job loss. We did not find that the risk of incident IHD varied with the number of these stressful life events.
Keywords: Adult; Cohort Studies; Denmark; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; Life Change Events; Logistic Models; Male; Marital Status; Myocardial Ischemia; Prospective Studies; Registries; Socioeconomic Factors; Stress, Psychological; Unemployment