Tension, Anxiety Boost Men's Heart Disease, Death Risk

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  1. rainvet

    rainvet New Member

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    Tension, Anxiety Boost Men's Heart Disease, Death Risk

    Reuters Health

    By Anne Harding

    Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Tension increases a man's risk of heart disease, heart rhythm abnormalities and death from any cause, while women who report a high degree of anxiety are at greater risk of death, a new study shows.

    In fact, Dr. Elaine D. Eaker of Eaker Epidemiology Enterprises in Chili, Wisconsin and colleagues note, tension increases men's death risk to the same degree that high blood pressure does.

    "The implication is you need to take care of the tension in addition to taking care of your cholesterol and your diabetes," Eaker told Reuters Health. "This should be part and parcel of the whole reduction and prevention of risk factors for heart disease and mortality."

    The finding that tension and anxiety affected men and women differently is nothing new, she added, although the reasons why remain unclear.

    Eaker and her team looked at 3,682 men and women participating in the Framingham Offspring Study, whose average age was 48.5 years, and followed them for 10 years. Participants answered a brief series of yes-or-no questions to evaluate their degree of tension and anxiety.

    Men who reported higher-than-average levels of tension were 25% more likely to develop heart disease over the next 10 years, while their overall risk of death was 23% greater. They were also 24% more likely to develop atrial fibrillation (AF), a type of abnormal heart rhythm that can lead to stroke and death.

    For comparison, men with higher-than-average blood pressure face a 23% increased 10-year risk of death.

    Among women, there was no link between high levels of tension and heart disease or mortality, but women with higher-than-average levels of anxiety were 27% more likely to die from any cause over the next 10 years.

    While anxiety manifests itself in more physical ways, for example with fatigue, dizziness and a pounding heart, tension is characterized more by difficulty in relaxing, a sense of restlessness and nervousness, and feelings of tension, Eaker explained. The two are correlated, she added.

    A number of studies have linked heart disease to psychological factors, she added, but this is the first that was able to control for other risk factors for heart disease, such as cigarette smoking and being overweight, and the first to investigate tension.

    Past studies have also been limited because they have relied on chest pain and other "soft" endpoints, which don't necessarily indicate heart disease, she added; however, this study used "hard," unambiguous endpoints like heart disease, atrial fibrillation and death.

    People who are concerned about their feelings of tension and anxiety should see a health care provider, who can tell them if seeking counseling might be appropriate, Eaker said. Like weight loss or reducing one's cholesterol, she added, reducing tension and anxiety can be difficult for a person to do without some professional help. "I don't think it's a good idea for people to sort of self-diagnose," she said.

    SOURCE: Psychosomatic Medicine, September-October 2005.
    Tension, Anxiety Boost Men's Heart Disease, Death Risk
  2. Kingsley

    Kingsley Guest

    Its really a scare thing to note that our young generation is facing the problem of these diseases. We must take the serious step to be save in our healthy life.

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