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The 2015 and 2016 terrorist attacks in France: was there a short-term impact on hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease?

Authors Chatignoux E, Gabet A, Moutengou E, Pirard P, Motreff Y, Bonaldi C, Olié V

Received 18 October 2017

Accepted for publication 28 December 2017

Published 13 April 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 413—419


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Vera Ehrenstein

Edouard Chatignoux, Amélie Gabet, Elodie Moutengou, Philippe Pirard, Yvon Motreff, Christophe Bonaldi, Valérie Olié

Non-Communicable Diseases and Trauma Direction, The French Public Health Agency, Saint-Maurice, France

Background: The terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice in 2015 and 2016 generated widespread emotional stress in France. Given that acute emotional stress is a well-known trigger for cardiovascular disease, we investigated whether these attacks had any short-term impact on hospitalizations for acute cardiovascular disease in France.
Methods: Annual hospital discharge data from 2009 to 2016 were extracted from the French Hospital Discharge Database. All hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome, heart failure, or stroke were selected. Generalized additive Poisson models were used to differentiate “unusual” variations in daily hospitalization numbers in the 15 days following the attacks from the expected background hospitalization rate.
Results: The average daily number of hospitalizations was 396.4 for acute coronary syndrome, 598.6 for heart failure, and 334.6 for stroke. The daily mean number of hospitalizations for heart failure and stroke was higher in the 15 days following each attack compared with the reference periods. However, multivariate analysis showed no significant variation in the risk of hospitalization in the days following the attacks.
Interpretation: Watching events unfold on television, no matter how dramatic, was not a sufficiently potent trigger for cardiovascular disease, although it may have led to an increase in hospitalizations for stress or anxiety. The 2015 and 2016 terrorist attacks do not seem to have had any measurable short-term impact on hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease either in the Paris and Nice regions or in the rest of France.

Keywords: hospitalization, terrorist attacks, cardiovascular disease

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