A study of 735 men by researchers at the University of Southern California has found that anxiety can increase people's risk of a heart attack by 30-40%. Each of the 735 participants in the study completed psychological tests in 1986 and was in good cardiovascular health at the time. The men completed tests for psychaesthenia (excessive doubts, obsessive thoughts and irrational compulsions), social anxiety, phobias and their tendency to experience tension and physical arousal in stressful situations. They also completed psychological tests about their hostility, anger, type A behaviour, depression and negative emotions and their smoking, alcohol consumption, daily diets and general physical health was also assessed. Regardless of all other factors those men who came in the top 15% of any of the anxiety scales faced an increase in their heart attack risk of 30-40%.
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