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Anxiety Can Raise Heart Risks

A new study explains that low amounts of depression and anxiety could boost the risk of cardiovascular disease up to 30 percent.

August 22nd, 2012

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stress-heart health

Feeling a little blue? It's more important than you may realize to seek help. According to a new study, even mild depression or anxiety can raise your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

The study, performed in the United Kingdom and published online in the British Medical Journal, evaluated ten studies of men and women enrolled in the Health Survey for England from 1994 to 2004. All in all, researchers looked at data on more than 68,000 adults aged 35 and older to determine if there is an association between psychological distress and mortality.

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The results? The greater the level of psychological distress, whether it was from depression or anxiety, the greater the odds of death over the course of the study. And even very mild depression or anxiety made a difference, raising the overall risk of death, by any cause, by 20 percent and the risk of death specifically from cardiovascular disease by 29 percent. Those with the highest levels of depression or anxiety were 94 percent more likely to die over the course of the study period.

Researchers cautioned that those with clinical depression are not automatically doomed to an early death, but they also saw these results as a good indication that those who suffer from depression and anxiety—even in low doses—should seek treatment.

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