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High Anxiety Could Give You A Stroke

Update Date: Dec 20, 2013 09:51 AM EST

Feeling much anxiety for whatever reasons might give you a stroke, a new study has find.

The first-ever study has looked into the mechanism how anxiety influenced the risk of stroke, separated from depression and other factors.

Statistically, the study found that people with the highest levels of anxiety had a 33 per cent greater chance of witnessing a future stroke than who were at the lowest levels.

According to reports from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 800,000 people in U.S. have strokes every year in which 130,000 face death.

The study led by psychiatric researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine examined 22 years of records from more than 6,000 participants aged 25 to 74 in a federal database. These participants agree to in-person interviews, medical exams, questionnaires and blood draws. In addition they also agreed to be followed for decades.

“Everyone has some anxiety now and then, but when it’s elevated and chronic, it may have an effect on your vasculature years down the road,” said Maya Lambiase, the study author and a behavioral medicine researcher in the press release.

After tailing the anxiety symptoms and risk of stroke, researchers found that for every single standard deviation increase in anxiety, there was a 17 percent increase in the stroke risk. Additionally, people with higher anxiety levels were more drawn to smoke and did not get enough exercise, which in turn further leveled up the chances of stroke.

“Scientists have known that anxiety contributes to heart disease, but the link with stroke hasn’t been as clear,” said Dr. Shazam Hussain, head of the Cleveland Clinic’s Stroke Center, according to Today. "We’re always looking for things besides the standard risk factors.”

The developments of the study is published in the journal Stroke.

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