Mar. 19, 2013 —
Science Daily/Journal of the American Heart Association
Heart disease patients who have anxiety have twice the risk of dying from any cause compared to those without anxiety, according to new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Studies show that depression is about three times more common in heart attack patients. The American Heart Association recommends that heart patients be screened for depression and treated if necessary.
Anxiety and depression each influence risk of death in unique ways. Anxiety, for example, increases activity of the sympathetic (adrenaline-producing) nervous system that controls blood pressure. "People who worry a lot are more likely to have difficulty sleeping and to develop high blood pressure," Watkins said. The link between depression and mortality is more related to behavioral risk factors, she said. "Depression results in lack of adherence to medical advice and treatments, along with behaviors like smoking and being sedentary."