Fear of disease increases the risk of becoming sick

sickSick.Photo: Heiko Junge / SCANPIX NB Modellklarert.

Those who are afraid of getting sick have an increased risk of ‘heart-attack’ than others, according to research from the University of Bergen.

‘The higher the degree of anxiety and worry, the higher the risk of developing heart-attacks’, said researcher Lene Iden Berge to NRK news.

The research shows that among the 10 per cent who are most afraid of disease, there was over 70 percent increased risk of heart-attack.

The researchers believe fear increases the heart rate. Myocardial Infarction is viewed as a lifestyle disease, being linked to unhealthy diet, smoking and lack of exercise.

‘We have taken account of lifestyle factors in our analysis, but they didn’t explain the whole context’, said Berge.

People who are ill basically worry more, and some researchers have tried to avoid allowing this to affect the analyses.

‘My advice is to think of this as an anxiety disorder. One needs proper diagnosis and treatment for the anxiety disorder, not for the physical diseases you have in your body,’ Berge concluded.

7000 patients from Hordaland (with an average age of approximately 60 years) were involved in the study, which has been ongoing since the 1990s.

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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