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HHS HealthBeat (January 30, 2014)

Anxiety and stroke

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Everybody feels anxious sometimes, but a study indicates people who feel anxious for long times have a somewhat higher risk of stroke. Researcher Maya Lambiase of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine saw this in 22 years of data on about 6,000 people.

“Even modest increases in anxiety were associated with a greater risk for stroke, with those in the highest third of anxiety symptoms having a 33 percent greater risk of stroke versus those with the lowest symptoms.”

Lambiase says anxiety might affect the body directly, and she says people with high anxiety are more likely to smoke and less likely to be physically active, which may also have roles in the anxiety-stroke link.

The study in the journal Stroke was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: January 30, 2014