Sardinha A, Araújo CG, Soares-Filho GL, Nardi AE
Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther 2011 Feb;9(2):165-75
Psychological factors such as stress and depression have already been established as primary and secondary cardiovascular risk factors. More recently, the role of anxiety in increasing cardiac risk has also been studied. The underlying mechanisms of increased cardiac risk in panic disorder patients seem to reflect the direct and indirect effects of autonomic dysfunction, as well as behavioral risk factors associated with an unhealthy lifestyle. Implications of the comorbidity between panic and cardiovascular disease include higher morbidity, functional deficits, increased cardiovascular risk, and poor adherence to cardiac rehabilitation or exercise programs. This article probes the most recent evidence on the association between coronary artery disease, anxiety and panic disorder, and discusses the potential role of incorporating regular physical exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment of this condition.