Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Panic Attacks Linked To Heart Attack Risk In Women

Date:
October 2, 2007
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Older women who experience at least one full-blown panic attack may have an increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke and an increased risk of death in the next five years according to a new report. Panic attacks involve the sudden development of fear, anxiety or extreme discomfort accompanied by four or more additional symptoms, according to background information in the article. They may occur sporadically or as part of an anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder or phobias.

Older women who experience at least one full-blown panic attack may have an increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke and an increased risk of death in the next five years, according to a new report.

Panic attacks involve the sudden development of fear, anxiety or extreme discomfort accompanied by four or more additional symptoms, according to background information in the article. They may occur sporadically or as part of an anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder or phobias.

Jordan W. Smoller, M.D., Sc.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and colleagues studied 3,369 healthy postmenopausal women (age 51 to 83, average age 65.9). When they entered the study between 1997 and 2000, the women filled out a questionnaire about the occurrence of panic attacks in the previous six months. They were then followed for an average of 5.3 years to see whether they had a heart attack or stroke or died from any cause.

About 10 percent of the women reported having a full-blown panic attack in the six months prior to the study. After the researchers adjusted for other cardiovascular risk factors, having one or more panic attacks was associated with four times the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack), three times the risk of having a heart attack or stroke and nearly twice the risk of death from any cause. These associations remained after controlling for depression, suggesting that panic attacks may be a separate, independent risk factor for cardiovascular events.

The results add panic attacks to the list of emotions and psychiatric symptoms that have already been linked to cardiovascular risk, including depression, anger and hostility, the authors note. Panic attacks could be associated with other cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension. Alternatively, anxiety could contribute to adverse cardiovascular effects, such as coronary artery spasm, tendency toward increased blood clotting or disturbances in heart rhythm.

"These results suggest that panic anxiety is a marker for increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality among postmenopausal women," the authors conclude. "Future studies are needed to clarify the causal connection, if any, between panic attacks and cardiovascular events. Our results imply, however, that older women with a recent history of panic attacks represent a subgroup at elevated risk of myocardial infarction and stroke in whom careful monitoring and cardiovascular risk reduction may be particularly important."

This research is published in the October issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

Reference: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007;64(10):1153-1160.

The Women's Health Initiative program is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Myocardial Ischemia and Migraine Study was funded by Glaxo Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Panic Attacks Linked To Heart Attack Risk In Women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071001172830.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2007, October 2). Panic Attacks Linked To Heart Attack Risk In Women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071001172830.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Panic Attacks Linked To Heart Attack Risk In Women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071001172830.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins