Can Anxiety Increase Your Chance of Heart Disease?

Can Anxiety Increase Your Chance of Heart Disease?

Anxiety & Heart DiseaseSo many of us today deal with serious cases of anxiety. Whether we feel anxious over societal pressure, social situations or responsibilities at work, when anxiety hits, it can be very difficult to overcome. However, many people don’t realize that their anxiety can have a more significant impact on their health and their life than they ever assumed.

One of the latest revelations has to do with the correlation between anxiety and heart attacks. Many people have made the correlation between anxiety and heart disease in the past. After all, symptoms of heart disease are actually very similar to that of a panic attack. However, the two issues may be more correlated than that, which has many wondering-can anxiety actually increase your chances of getting heart disease?

How Does Anxiety Impact the Heart?
Individuals who struggle with anxiety, likely know that this condition can come with some physical side effects. When a person is anxious, their body reacts in ways that can put an extra strain on the heart. Anxiety can cause a rapid heart rate (which in rare instances can put the body into cardiac arrest) and impact normal heart function. Anxiety, particularly chronic anxiety can also lead to coronary disease, weakening of the heart muscle and even heart failure. Individuals with anxiety may also be more likely to die if they experience an acute heart attack due to decreased heart rate variability.

Anxiety and Heart Attack Recovery
Anxiety may not only increase your chances of developing heart disease or experiencing a cardiac episode, but it can also impede a person’s recovery following a heart attack.

Anxiety can get in the way of individuals sticking with their prescribed treatment or exercise plan and with taking their medications and following through with their healthy diet. Anxiety often also prevents people from getting enough sleep-which is a major factor in proper heart attack recovery.

What the Research Says
There are several studies that have shown that about 25 percent of people with heart disease actually have some type of anxiety issue-and that the anxiety seems to make their heart condition worse. Panic attacks, which can occur on their own or as part of an anxiety disorder, put stress on the heart and can actually be confused for a slight heart attack.

While there still needs to be more research on the topic of anxiety and heart disease. There is a strong correlation between the two-and the more you can do to manage your anxiety, the better your heart health will be. For more information on heart health and on safe ways to manage your health and your anxiety, make an appointment at Continuum Internal Medicine by calling 817-617-8650.