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Home Industry News Excessive worry about health ‘can increase heart disease risk’

Excessive worry about health ‘can increase heart disease risk’

4th November 2016

People who unduly worry about their health may be at a greater risk of developing a genuine heart problem, according to a study.

Led by the University of Bergen, the research analysed data for 7,052 individuals and revealed that people with health anxiety were 73 percent more likely to develop heart disease than those who do not share this state of mind.

Health anxiety refers to a persistent preoccupation with having or developing a serious illness, which can lead people to repeatedly seek medical advice in response to misinterpreted symptoms.

This research indicates that not only does this additional monitoring and frequent check-ups of symptoms not reduce the risk of coronary heart disease events, but the act of putting the body in a permanent state of high alert may in fact have the opposite effect.

The study authors said this showed the difficulty for clinicians "between reassuring the patient that current physical symptoms of anxiety do not represent heart disease, contrasted against the emerging knowledge on how anxiety, over time, may be causally associated with increased risk".

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