Anxiety doubles risk of death from heart disease, study finds

Anxiety doubles the chance of death from heart disease and should be considered as important a risk factor as depression, a US study suggests.

Anxiety and depression independently raise the risk of death from heart disease
Anxiety and depression independently raise the risk of death from heart disease

Researchers found that anxiety independently raises health risks in patients with coexisting depression.

Risks of depression in heart disease are well understood, but more attention must be paid to the harm caused by anxiety, they said.

A team from Duke University in North Carolina measured levels of anxiety and depression among 934 patients with CHD who were due to undergo a cardiac catheterisation.

Patients with anxiety were more likely to be sleeping less and have a history of hypertension. Those with depression had a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction and greater rates of heart failure.

Patients who had both were more likely to be smokers.

There were 133 deaths during the three years after the procedures. Higher anxiety levels led to a 2.3 times greater risk of mortality after accounting for established risks such as age, heart failure and renal disease. Depression led to a 2.2-fold raised mortality risk.

Patients with both anxiety and depression faced a 3.1 times higher risk than those with neither.

Anxiety is believed to cause elevated nervous system activity, inflammation and hypertension.

Lead author Dr Lana Watkins of Duke University Medical Centre said clinicians should 'assess patients for both anxiety and depression, and continue to monitor these symptoms on a regular basis'.

She added: 'It's now time for anxiety to be considered as important as depression'.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Government talks on NHS pension tax crisis 'close to conclusion'

Government talks on NHS pension tax crisis 'close to conclusion'

Talks between government ministers on how to stop punitive pensions taxes undermining...

GPs in line for seniority pay windfall worth thousands of pounds

GPs in line for seniority pay windfall worth thousands of pounds

Hundreds of GPs could be in line for thousands of pounds in extra seniority pay after...

GP at Hand rated 'good' by CQC in first evaluation of digital-first service

GP at Hand rated 'good' by CQC in first evaluation of digital-first service

Babylon GP at Hand has been rated 'good' overall by the CQC, in the watchdog's first...

What can primary care networks learn from past service reorganisations?

What can primary care networks learn from past service reorganisations?

Accountant Laurence Slavin looks at two high-profile contract failures in the NHS...

'Practices at risk' as GP at Hand report delayed for third time

'Practices at risk' as GP at Hand report delayed for third time

A long-awaited report to evaluate the impact of Babylon GP at Hand on patients, the...

Fifteen-minute GP consultation will be bare minimum by 2030, warns RCGP

Fifteen-minute GP consultation will be bare minimum by 2030, warns RCGP

GP consultations will last at least 15 minutes by the year 2030 according to an RCGP...