Needless worrying about health may increase heart disease risk

People who needlessly worry that they have, or will develop, serious illness — popularly referred to as ‘the worried well’ — may be boosting their risk of developing heart disease, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Norwegian researchers studied 7,000 people and found those with health anxiety at the start of the study were 73 per cent more likely to develop heart disease than those who weren’t in this state of mind.


Researchers said in a press release that anxiety is a known risk factor for heart disease, and health anxiety, which describes persistent preoccupation with having or acquiring a serious illness, and seeking prompt medical advice, on the basis of misattributed bodily symptoms in the absence of any physical disease, seems to be no exception.


Read the study here.



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First published: November 2016

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