Long-Term Cardiovascular Risk and Management of Patients Recorded in Primary Care With Unattributed Chest Pain: An Electronic Health Record Study

Kelvin P. Jordan*, Trishna Rathod-Mistry, James Bailey, Ying Chen, Lorna Clarson, Spiros Denaxas, Richard A. Hayward, Harry Hemingway, Danielle A. van der Windt, Mamas A. Mamas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Most adults presenting with chest pain will not receive a diagnosis and be recorded with unattributed chest pain. The objective was to assess if they have increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared with those with noncoronary chest pain and determine whether investigations and interventions are targeted at those at highest risk. METHODS AND RESULTS: We used records from general practices in England linked to hospitalization and mortality information. The study population included patients aged 18 years or over with a new record of chest pain with a noncoronary cause or unattributed between 2002 and 2018, and no cardiovascular disease recorded up to 6 months (diagnostic window) afterward. We compared risk of a future cardiovascular event by type of chest pain, adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and alternative explanations for chest pain. We determined prevalence of cardiac diagnostic investigations and preventative medication during the diagnostic window in patients with estimated cardiovascular risk ≥10%. There were 375 240 patients with unattributed chest pain (245 329 noncoronary chest pain). There was an increased risk of cardiovascular events for patients with unattributed chest pain, highest in the first year (hazard ratio, 1.25 [95% CI, 1.21–1.29]), persistent up to 10 years. Patients with unattributed chest pain had consistently increased risk of myocardial infarction over time but no increased risk of stroke. Thirty percent of patients at higher risk were prescribed lipid-lowering medication. CONCLUSIONS: Patients presenting to primary care with unattributed chest pain are at increased risk of cardiovascular events. Primary prevention to reduce cardiovascular events appears suboptimal in those at higher risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere023146
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2022


  • cardiovascular disease
  • chest pain
  • electronic health records
  • primary care


Dive into the research topics of 'Long-Term Cardiovascular Risk and Management of Patients Recorded in Primary Care With Unattributed Chest Pain: An Electronic Health Record Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this