People who suffer from anxiety disorders may have an increased risk of being diagnosed with heart disease, according to a report published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
In an effort to determine the effects of the mental illnesses on heart health, two groups of researchers observed two groups of people who had been diagnosed with at least one form of anxiety disorder.
During the first trial, investigators examined information collected from the medical records of approximately 250,000 people over a 20-year span. The team discovered that people who had developed anxiety during the time span were 26 percent more likely to be diagnosed with coronary heart disease and had a 48 percent higher risk of dying due to cardiovascular complications.
The investigators who conducted the second study observed 50,000 men aged 18 to 20 years who had served in the military and found that individuals who were diagnosed with anxiety were twice as likely to suffer from coronary blockages or heart attacks, the website reported.
Both teams of researchers concluded that while psychological disorders can have stressful effects on the heart, further research is necessary in order to determine ways to alleviate the damage that can lead to cardiovascular complications.
In 2006, approximately 11.3 percent of the United States population was diagnosed with anxiety-related disorders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).