Anxiety as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease independent of depression: A narrative review of current status and conflicting findings
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The aim of this paper is to summarise and evaluate the empirical support for the association between anxiety and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and to address challenges related to method and study design. We review results from meta-analyses and more recent findings on the association of anxiety and the risk of CVD. Depression and anxiety are often listed as psychosocial risk markers of CVD, but the role of anxiety as a risk factor for CVD has not received the same evidential support as the effects of depression. Through a narrative review we identified six meta-analyses as well as 15 recent large studies of anxiety and CVD that we summarise. Some of the conflicting findings may be artefacts of study design or population the sample is drawn from. Researchers should take care to be population specific, measurement specific and outcome specific, and to control for comorbid depression.