Can A Panic Attack Cause A Heart Attack? | World Of Psychology

Researchers determined the possible risk for coronary heart disease after adjustment for all relevant risk factors, including smoking, hypertension, body-mass index, depression history, and physical activity. The risk for subsequent heart disease was over 4 times higher, and over 3 times higher for stroke, in women who had experienced full-blown panic attacks than in those without panic histories, but not in women who didnt have full-blown panic attacks but merely symptoms of anxiety. Depression was not associated with cardiovascular events after adjustment for panic attacks. The researchers determined that panic attacks are relatively common among postmenopausal women. They also appear to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in older women. This doesnt mean panic attacks can cause a heart attack (because it could be that women with pre-existing or genetic heart conditions are more predisposed to panic symptoms), but it does mean that if a woman has a history of full-blow panic attacks, they will be at greater risk for coronary heart disease and stroke. Such women should likely be more closely monitored by their physician for these health issues.
Source: Can a Panic Attack Cause a Heart Attack? | World of Psychology

She suggested that tobacco smoke may induce panic attacks in susceptible individuals. “There can be other mechanisms by which smoking induces panic: the effect of nicotine for example,” Breslau says. Nicotine has a stimulating effect on the brain. It does all sorts of things.” Panic attacks may be a false alarm in which a person’s body mistakenly thinks it is suffocating, Klein previously has written. Based on this theory, Breslau and Klein suggest in their article that carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke may set off panic attacks in people predisposed to overreact. In an interview seeking objective comment, clinical psychologist Benjamin Fialkoff, PhD, tells WebMD that the study findings appear to be in line with his experience in treating patients with panic disorder. “It doesn’t surprise me in view of the findings that smoking increases stress,” he said. “What we have in a panic response is the body’s stress response going full out.
Source: Panic Attacks More Common in Smokers

Last Updated: Mar 23, 2010 | By Rae Uddin You can develop heart and lung-related symptoms during a severe panic attack. Photo Credit stethoscope image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com If you experience the sudden onset of intense fear or anxiety, you may be having a panic attack. The symptoms of a severe panic attack can mimic those of a heart attack, which may worsen anxiety or fear in some patients. Recurrent symptoms of a severe panic attack may indicate that you have a chronic anxiety disorder, called panic disorder. Discuss the symptoms of a severe panic attack with your doctor to ensure you receive appropriate treatment and care. Heart Rate Abnormalities A panic attack can induce a flight-or-fight response within your body, causing the release of a variety of stimulatory chemicals throughout your blood. When this occurs, your heart muscle can be overstimulated, which can cause it to begin to beat abnormally fast.
Source: What Are the Symptoms of a Severe Panic Attack? | LIVESTRONG.COM

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