Thurston RC, Rewak M, Kubzansky LD
Prog Cardiovasc Dis 2013 May-Jun;55(6):524-37
The public health burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is high both in terms of economic and social costs. Key modifiable factors identified for CVD prevention include health behaviors and health risk factors (e.g., cholesterol, blood pressure). However, a substantial body of research has also identified stress, anxiety, and depression as potentially modifiable CVD risk factors. Here we focus on the role of anxiety in the development of CVD and consider its potential as a key target for primordial prevention strategies. First, we highlight important findings and summarize the latest research on anxiety and incident CVD. We also review and summarize the findings to date on subclinical CVD outcomes and briefly consider mechanisms by which anxiety may influence CVD. We identify key issues and consider how these issues may inform our understanding of the anxiety-CVD relationship. Finally, we briefly discuss the clinical implications of this work, with specific recommendations for providers.