Anxiety and male heart attacks

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Chronic anxiety substantially increase their risk of heart attack among older men, a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. While stress has been know to be a big factor in increasing the risk of heart problems, this is the first time anxiety is added to the causes.

Contents

Why should I be aware of this?

These days most of us lead stressful lives, working long hours and dealing with many demands. The study shows that despite physical risk factors, anxious men are 30% to 40% more likely than calmer men to have a heart attack.

All about anxiety and male heart attacks

The study on anxiety-related heart attack included 735 men from a large city and had started when the participants were 60 years old with no previous history of heart disease or other risk factors like high cholesterol and diabetes. Personality surveys conducted during the study, documented their anxiety, anger, depression, and other negative emotions. Personal facts about education, marital status, and other personality traits were noted down and regularly screened for any irregularities in blood pressure, alcohol and cigarette use.

When the study was completed, 75 men out of the sample had heart attacks, 11 of which were fatal. These findings were documented by cardiologists’ reviews of hospital records including CT scan and heart scan results of the participants.

The study found that the heart attacks of these men were predictable based on high anxiety scores on their personality test.

What can I do about it?

Individuals who have a high level of anxiety should be aware they may face an increased risk of a heart attack. It is absolutely necessary to take proactive steps under physician supervision to control those cardiovascular risk factors which are modifiable including blood pressure, lipid levels, activity level and weight.

References

  • Anxiety Raises Heart Attack Risk