Features September 2010 Issue

Anxiety May Help Predict Heart Disease Later in Life

Research suggests doctors should investigate the feelings of heart patients.

Donít worry, be heart happy. It turns out that anxiety, while a valuable response when it results in you taking extra precautions in a potentially dangerous situation, can significantly raise your risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD). Recent research, published in the June 29 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), found that anxious people had around a 25 percent greater risk of CHD and an almost 50 percent higher risk of cardiac death during an 11-year period following a diagnosis of anxiety. Anxiety is a general term for conditions characterized by nervousness, fear, apprehension and worry. Mild anxiety can leave you with a vague and unsettling feeling, but wonít interfere with day-to-day living.

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