Anxiety and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: a Review

Phillip J. Tully, Nathan J. Harrison, Peter Cheung, Suzanne Cosh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


Unrecognized anxiety is a difficult clinical presentation in cardiology. Anxiety leads to recurring emergency department visits and the need for numerous diagnostic evaluations to rule out cardiovascular disease (CVD). This review focuses broadly on anxiety and its subtypes in relation to the onset and progression of CVD while describing helpful guidelines to better identify and treat anxiety. Potential mechanisms of cardiopathogenesis are also described. An emerging literature demonstrates that anxiety disorders increase the risk for incident CVD but a causal relationship has not been demonstrated. Anxiety portends adverse prognosis in persons with established CVD that is independent from depression. The level of clinical priority received by depression should be extended to research and clinical intervention efforts in anxiety. Anxiety holds direct relevance for uncovering mechanisms of cardiopathogenesis, developing novel therapeutic strategies, and initiating clinical interventions in the population at risk of developing heart disease, or those already diagnosed with CVD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Cardiology Reports
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Review
  • Risk factor

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