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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can anxiety and panic attacks cause heart attacks?

I'm a 23 year old male and I think I am just paranoid of heart problems. I have a history of anxiety of problems, but what concerns me the most is how much heart related problems such as heart attacks or others is similar to the feelings of a panic attack and other anxious problems. I talked to my grandmother and she has had two heart attacks and the second time she had one she just felt very tired and virtually no pain at all accompanying it at all. The last time I went to the emergency room because of a anxiety related concern cost me $1000 and I have no insurance so what concerns me is that I couldn't tell the difference between when I could just chalk it up to anxiety or for a actual reason to go to the emergency room.
Thu, 27 Nov 2014
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Hello thanks for asking from HCM

I can understand your concern. You have history of anxiety and panic attacks but the main concern is anxiety related to heart attack and heart problems. These hypochondrical ideas (health anxiety) are potentiating the anxiety. As previous panic attacks resulted in significant loss of money so consult a psychiatrist for treatment of anxiety. Reassurance, cognitive therapy will help to decrease the fear of illness.
Medicines like Paroxetine, Sertraline, Duloxetine etc will decrease the symptoms of anxiety and will help to calm you. So visit a psychiatrist as soon as you can.

Thanks, hope this helps you.
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