Long term anxiety could be deadly for heart patients
May 16, 2007 - 11:15:36 AM

New York, May 16 - Long-term anxiety could be deadly for people suffering from heart disease, US researchers have said.

There is ample research on the toll that mental stress has on cardiac health, but this as a rule has focused on depression rather than anxiety.

But in a new study involving 516 patients with heart disease by researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston, it was found that high anxiety score over a period of time was associated with an elevated risk of both heart attack and death from any cause.

The research shows that highly anxious patients with heart disease face nearly double the risk of heart attack or death when compared to those with a more serene outlook on life, said the health portal News Medical.

Those, whose anxiety intensified over time were at greatest risk, while those who started out highly anxious but later found inner calm markedly reduced their risk, it said.

The study by Dr. Charles M. Blatt and colleagues is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, May 22, 2007.

Blatt believes time spent by doctors with the patient and the family and interacting with them is critically important to clinical outcomes.

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