Heart disease patients who also suffer from anxiety are at a heightened risk of suffering a major cardiovascular event, scientists have claimed.
New research carried out by a team at Tilburg University in Holland found a clear link between anxiety and an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes among people with a history of heart disease.
Specifically, looking at more than 1,000 cases, the Dutch team concluded that the risk of often-fatal cardiovascular events is around 74 per cent higher in anxious heart disease patients when compared to their peers who didn't also suffer from this condition.
Writing the findings up in the latest addition of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry, lead researcher Dr Elisabeth Martens stated that it may be the case that anxious people are less likely to go to their doctor, who could warn them if they are at risk of a heart attack or a stroke.
As such, she stated that the evaluation and treatment of anxiety should become part of the "comprehensive management of patients with coronary heart disease".
Meanwhile, a new paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has suggested that anxiety may be the driving force behind people becoming increasingly extreme in their religious views.