Early-onset anxiety increases risk of coronary heart disease

January 01, 0001

Early-onset anxiety increases risk of coronary heart disease

The purpose of this study was to investigate the long- term cardiac effects of depression and anxiety assessed at a young age, when reverse causation is not feasible. In a nationwide survey, 49,321 young Swedish men, 18 to 20 years of age, were medically examined for military service in 1969 and 1970. All the conscripts were seen by a psychologist for a structured interview. Conscripts reporting or presenting any psychiatric symptoms were seen by psychiatrists. Depression and anxiety was diagnosed according to International Classification of Diseases-8th Revision (ICD-8). Data on well- established CHD risk factors and potential confounders were also collected. Participants were followed for CHD and for acute myocardial infarction for 37 years.

Multiadjusted hazard ratios associated with depression were 1.04, 1.03 for CHD and for acute myocardial infarction, respectively. The corresponding multiadjusted hazard ratios for anxiety were 2.17 and 2.51.

The researchers concluded: "In men, aged 18 to 20 years, anxiety as diagnosed by experts according to ICD-8 criteria independently predicted subsequent CHD events. In contrast, we found no support for such an effect concerning early-onset depression in men."

Large, long term study with little for us to act on.

For the full abstract, click here.

J Am Coll Cardiol 56(1):31-37, June 29 2010
© 2010 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation
Early-Onset Depression, Anxiety, and Risk of Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease: 37-Year Follow-Up of 49,321 Young Swedish Men. Imre Janszky, Staffan Ahnve, Ingvar Lundberg and Tomas Hemmingsson. Correspondence to Dr. Imre Janszky: [email protected]

Category: K. Circulatory, P. Psychological. Keywords: anxiety, coronary heart disease, depression, prospective cohort study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 16 July 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.