Connection Found between Adolescent Anxiety and Future Heart Disease


Researchers in Sweden have recently discovered a connection between an anxiety disorder in late adolescent or early 20s and the risk or having a heart attack or developing heart disease years down the road. The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Anxiety is a challenging disorder that afflicts around 28 percent of individuals at one time or another. While the study does indicate a connection, it does not provide evidence that the heart conditions are caused by anxiety.

Nearly 50,000 Swedish males, undergoing physical exams in order to serve in the military, participated in this study. They were all born between 1949 and 1951. The scientists followed these men over the course of 37 years.

Interestingly, the researcher didn’t find a connection between heart disease or heart attacks and depression. But they found that those who had been diagnosed with anxiety were nearly 2.5 times more likely to have a heart attack, and over twice as likely to have heart disease. However, the study did not take into account some things that may increase the risk for heart disease or heart attacks, such as high cholesterol.

These findings may help both patients and doctors pay closer attention to a history of anxiety and become more diligent in monitoring things such as high blood pressure.

Since the study did not include females, further research needs to be done to see if the same holds true for women.

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