Anxiety Associated With Increased Stroke Risk

Maya J. Lambiase, PhD Department of Psychiatry University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Pittsburgh, PA 15213MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 
Maya J. Lambiase, PhD
Department of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Lambiase: Higher levels of anxiety were associated with a greater risk for stroke.
MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Lambiase: Even moderate increases in anxiety were associated with an increase in stroke risk, independent from other risk factors such as depression.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? 

Dr. Lambiase: Anxiety symptoms, which include feeling unusually worried, stressed, nervous, or tense, are very common.  Although everyone has some anxiety now and then, if it is elevated and/or chronic, it may have an effect on your vasculature years down the road.  Thus, assessment and treatment of anxiety has the potential to not only improve overall quality of life, but all reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke, later in life.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study? 

Dr. Lambiase: Future research is needed to determine the mechanisms whereby greater levels of anxiety increase a person’s risk for stroke.  Also, it will be important for studies to assess the effect of anxiety treatment on long-term cardiovascular health.

Citation:

Prospective Study of Anxiety and Incident Stroke

Maya J. Lambiase, Laura D. Kubzansky, and Rebecca C. Thurston

Stroke. 2013;STROKEAHA.113.003741published online before print December 19 2013, doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.003741

 

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