Panic attacks could indicate greater heart risk

People who suffer from panic attacks are more likely to develop heart attacks and heart disease, according to UK research.

 

The findings suggest that GPs should consider the possibility of heart disease in patients presenting with panic attacks.

The study involved 57,615 adults diagnosed with panic attacks and 347,039 adults who did not have the condition.

Patients who were younger than 50 when first diagnosed with panic attacks were 38 per cent more likely to have a heart attack and 44 per cent more likely to develop heart disease than people who had not been diagnosed with the condition.

For patients over the age of 50 there was an 11 per cent increased risk of heart disease.

Lead researcher Dr Kate Walters, from University College London, said: ‘The symptoms of panic attacks can closely mimic those of a heart attack or acute cardiac disease, and it seems that there may be a complex relationship between them.'

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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