As Treatments Ease Anxiety, Heart Risks Also Decline
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As Treatments Ease Anxiety, Heart Risks Also Decline

People with heart disease can stay healthier if they address their emotional problems as well as their physical ailments, a new study says.

Treating anxiety and depression reduced ER visits and hospitalizations among patients with heart disease, researchers report in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

1. Treating anxiety and depression can help the heart health of people with heart failure

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  • Anxiety and depression are common in people with heart failure

  • Treating anxiety and depression reduced ER visits and hospitalizations among patients with heart disease

2. Recent study looked at over 1,500 patients

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  • 92% of participants in the study had been diagnosed with anxiety and 56% with depression prior to their hospitalization

  • The patients were between 22 and 64 years old, and all were enrolled in Medicaid

3. Therapy, drugs or a combination of the two reduced ER visits and hospitalizations

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  • Therapy alone reduced risk of hospitalization by 46% to 49% and ER visits by 48% to 53%

  • Drugs alone reduced hospitalizations by 47% to 58% and ER visits by 41% to 49%

4. Mood disorders are known to contribute to heart problems

Black fatigue tired depression heart failure
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  • Anxiety and depression can contribute to heart disease by activating the fight-or-flight nervous system, causing increases in heart rate and blood pressure

  • Mental health is known to impact a person’s risk of other health problems

5. Sources

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white woman doctor hands holding a symbolic red heart on white backgroundAdobe Stock

American Heart Association, news release, March 20, 2024

6. What This Means For You

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People with heart disease should ask their doctor about being screened for anxiety or depression, and pursue mental health treatment to help their heart health.

As Treatments Ease Anxiety, Heart Risks Also Decline
As Treatments Ease Anxiety, Heart Risks Also Decline
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