Panic attacks linked to higher risk of heart attacks and heart disease

Br J Cardiol 2009;16:16-14 Leave a comment
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People who have been diagnosed with panic attacks or panic disorder have a greater risk of subsequently developing heart disease or a myocardial infarction (MI) than the normal population, with higher rates occurring in younger people, according to a recent study (Eur Heart J 2008:29:2981–8)

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The study – which looked at 57,615 adults diagnosed with panic attacks/disorders and 347,039 adults who did not have the condition – found that people who were younger than 50 when first diagnosed had a significantly higher risk of MI but this was not the case in older people. It also found there was a significantly higher incidence of subsequent coronary heart disease (CHD) in people diagnosed with panic attacks/disorders at all ages, but this was more marked in the under 50s.

Interestingly, amongst people of all ages, the research showed that the risk of dying from CHD was actually reduced.

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