Anxiety is a common part of life and everyone at some point will develop feelings of anxiety. New research published in the journal Clinical Research in Cardiology, says, those who suffer from severe anxiety are found to seek medical intervention immediately after a heart attack, thus improving their chances of survival.
In recent months, statistics has revealed that 150,000 Nigerians die annually as a result of heart-related diseases and alarmingly, the number is expected to increase to 23 million by the year 2030 if adequate measures are not taken.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common disorder, characterized by long-lasting anxiety that is not focused on any one object or situation. Those suffering from generalized anxiety disorder experience non-specific persistent fear and worry and become overly concerned with everyday matters.
The exact cause of GAD isn’t fully understood, although it’s likely that a combination of several factors plays a role, including long-term arthritis, and history of drugs and alcohol abuse.
The study has shown that despite battling with anxiety, there’s more benefit to it than risk when it comes to reacting to a heart attack.
The new research led by Prof. Karl-Heinz Ladwig, from the Technical University of Munich in Germany used data from the Munich Examination of Delay in Patients Experiencing Acute Myocardial Infarction (MEDEA) study.
The team examined the information on the 619 heart attack patients, all of whom were interviewed as part of MEDEA, considering things such as the time they arrived at the hospital and how their condition unfolded.
Of the 619 patients included in the study, 12 percent also had GAD. These individuals, the study has revealed, reacted more promptly to their heart attacks and got to the hospital much sooner.
The study shows that women with anxiety disorder go to the hospital within 112 minutes, on average, following heart attack onset, whereas it took women without symptoms longer to seek professional help.
“Every minute is critical for survival after a heart attack,” Prof. Ladwig added.
“Individuals with anxiety disorder are at greater risk of having a heart attack but are more likely to survive it,” says Prof. Ladwig. “Our data revealed an important factor. Individuals with anxiety disorder often react more sensitively to their health needs.”
According to Prof. ladwig, doctors should always take their concerns very seriously. Such patients are also more decisive when it comes to accepting help. In this way, one illness can help protect against another serious illness.