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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is there any link between anxiety disorders and heart disease?

Anyone out there (Dr's mostly) know if there is a link with anxiety disorders and heart disease? Just wondering if there is a link between the 2, I ve been dealing with 3 different heart problems since I was 14 and panic attacks since I was 18, I also have a friend who developed heart problems when he was young and anxiety disorders in his late teens. I m also wondering if anyone else has dealt with the same thing. Any type of MATURE imput would help. Also, feel free to email me about the subject .
Tue, 15 Dec 2009
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Well nice question really. There are two type of links. 1. One heart disease casuing anxiety. 2. Anxiety causing heart disease For first, heart diseases or any diseases for that matter would make you feel anxious for your health status - it is natural and goes away when disease goes away. However, in case of long-standing , hard-to-treat disorders, it would be wise to consult a psychiatrist for emotional rehabilitation. For second, the only time when anxiety causes heart disease are when they are both part of the same spectrum. This happens in people known to suffer from "Type A personalities" : worrisome, stressful personalities. Although no hard evidence exists but stress/anxiety can cause heart disease by following THEORIES: a. increasing blood pressure. Increased blood pressure over long time can cause heart changes such as hypertrophy, and resultant ischemic chnages. b. Causing atherosclerosis - a degenrative disease of blood vessels which can affect any blood vessels in cardio-vascular system including coronary circulaion. This can lead to different conditions for example aortic valve insufficiency etc. But both these theories are not 100 %. These are just theories that have been put forward and not validated to date.
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