Panic attacks linked to heart disease and heart attacks
Posted Dec 12 2008 1:20pm
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.