Anxiety ridden heart patients face higher death risk

July 6th, 2010 - 5:10 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 6 (IANS) Does anxiety expose heart patients to higher risk of stroke, heart failure and death? The answer is yes, of course, but researchers in the Netherlands have now quantified the risk and found that anxiety affects 24 percent to 31 percent of such patients.
“Compared to the extensive literature on depression in patients with coronary heart disease, relatively few studies have examined the role of anxiety,” says a Tilburg University study.

Elisabeth J. Martens of the Tilburg University in the Netherlands and colleagues assessed 1,015 outpatients with stable coronary heart disease.

After an average follow-up time of 5.6 years, a total of 371 cardiovascular events occurred.

According to a Tilburg University statement, the yearly rate of cardiovascular events was 9.6 percent in the 106 participants with general anxiety disorder and 6.6 percent in the 909 participants without general anxiety disorder.

General anxiety disorder is characterised by excessive, uncontrollable and often irrational worry about everyday things that is disproportionate to the actual source of worry.

After potentially confounding variables — including sex, heart disease severity and medication use — generalised anxiety disorder was associated with a 74 percent increased risk of cardiovascular events.

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