Heart Disease and Anxiety

The July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry contains a study that demonstrates a 74% increased risk for adverse cardiovascular events (stroke, heart attack, and sudden death) in patients with general anxiety disorder (GAD). While it’s often been speculated that many patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) are also anxious, this study is the first of it’s kind to prove that there is indeed a definitive link between anxiety and heart disease. 

This study is further proof that the mind-body connection cannot be ignored. If your stress level is consistently high, don’t wait until you begin to experience symptoms before taking the necessary steps to address your anxiety. Naturopathic medicine can offer a number of therapies, including botanical, nutritional, acupuncture, and biofeedback, to help you manage stress more effectively. The Heart Math Institute (www.heartmath.org) offers tips and products that help you “retrain” your stress response, making you less prone to the adverse effects of anxiety. MoodGym (http://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome) is another online resource that is recommended for this purpose. 

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