Feeling anxious? Anxiety increases risk of heart disease

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Most of us feel anxious at some point or other, like before an important exam or a job interview, and that is perfectly normal. However, when someone is generally anxious, the effect on physical health can be devastating according to recent research.

Most of us are aware that feeling anxious over an extended period of time could have a negative impact on our health but how many of realise just how much.

Two recent studies from Sweden have now established that anxiety can increase the risk of coronary heart disease and death from heart attack.

The first study was carried about by Dr Annelike Roest and colleagues from the Tilburg University in the Netherlands and involved a meta-analysis of data from 20 studies originating in the US, Europe and Asia. An analysis of data on around 250,000 individuals was carried out and the results are pretty worrying.

The researchers discovered that anxious people had a 26 percent greater risk of heart disease than non anxious people and almost a 50 percent higher risk of dying from a heart attack over a follow up period of 11 years.

The other study by Dr Imre Janszky from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, involved an assessment of 50,000 Swedish men undergoing a medical for military service who were followed up for over 3 decades.

The researchers here found that anxiety disorders and not depression were predictors of heart disease and heart attack and this was after other factors like smoking and high blood pressure were taken into consideration.

The researchers are keen to point out how important it is for doctors to look out for symptoms of anxiety and to take this as seriously as they take physical symptoms when dealing with their patients.

Both studies were published in the June 29th Issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

If you are suffering from anxiety or anxiety related disorders then it’s vital that you do what you can to alleviate that anxiety. This will inevitably mean some lifestyle changes and maybe also a visit to the doctor who may prescribe medication or some form of therapy or even both.

Regularly exercise, a balanced diet and a regular sleeping routine will also help not only to reduce anxiety levels and improve your mental health, but will a positive effect on your physical health too.

Learn how I beat Depression


  1. Depression UK
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 9:04 am | Permalink


    Depression UK is a small charity that publishes a bimonthly newsletter, and we’re interested in republishing some of your articles in print. Would it be possible for us to reproduce some with a suitable attribution?

  2. admin
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Yes no problem , thanks Karl

  3. Ashwin Gohil
    Posted August 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Hi Karl,

    I am Ashwin Gohil from India. I have a very strange story about how i got into depression with lots of information. I will be happy to express my story! Can I put up my story on your page, something like a section where users can post their story

  4. admin
    Posted August 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Sure I will create a page / catergory for people to do just that , just leave your comment in the box and I will publish it for you. Please do not drop any links in the page or it will not be published.

    Thanks Karl

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