Stroke risk increases with high levels of anxiety
People with anxiety disorders may be at an increased risk for stroke—the number four leading cause of death in the United States—according to a new study.
In the study, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh recruited more than 6,000 individuals between ages of 25 and 74 who had never had a stroke. The participants filled out questionnaires about their levels of anxiety and depression, which were tracked for 22 subsequent years. The researchers also recorded the number of strokes that occurred among the participants.
The results showed that the individuals with the most anxiety increased their risk of having a stroke by approximately 33 percent. The findings, published in the journal Stroke, encourage people to seek assessment and treatment for depression and anxiety disorders, in order to reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases, including stroke. Researchers also recommended exercising and not smoking to reduce risk of stroke.