Panic attacks linked to heart disease and heart attacks

Friday 12th December, 2008

The latest UK research has identified that people diagnosed with panic disorder or those who suffer with panic attacks are at an increased risk of suffering a heart attack or developing heart disease.

The study looked at over 400,000 people of all ages and identified that people under the age of 50 had a higher risk rate of heart attacks with panic disorder/panic attacks. Incidences of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) was found to be significantly higher among panic disorder sufferers but the risk of dying from CHD was reduced.

The symptoms of a panic attack closely mimic that of a heart attack or coronary disease and researchers from the University College London believe there may be a relationship between the conditions.

Of the 400,000 people studied, nearly 60,000 had been diagnosed with panic disorder/attacks and a third of those were aged under 50 and as likely to suffer a heart attack than people who had not been diagnosed with the condition. 44% were as likely to develop heart disease as those without the problem.

However, deaths from heart disease among people with panic disorder was actually reduced by nearly 25% compared with those without the condition. The research team stated this may be down to younger people suffering fewer heart-related deaths or because someone with a panic disorder will seek medical attention earlier and therefore have any heart condition identified and treated before it can claim their life.

Panic attacks and panic disorder can be a debilitating condition but help is available. Alternative medicine and complementary therapy methods have proven beneficial in the treatment of panic attacks.

Find out more about panic attacks and the therapies that can help here.



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