Health worriers of the world: new research shows heart health may suffer from those worries.
A Norweegian study published in BMJ Open and briefed by MedlinePlus Health, a project of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, found that hypochondriacs were twice as likely to develop chest pain or have a heart attack compared to people who weren’t anxious about health.
The study found that even relatively low levels of health anxiety increased risk for heart issues.
It was conducted with data from more than 7,000 people who took part in the Norwegian Hordaland Health Study. Participants completed two questionnaires about their health, lifestyle and education and received a physical checkup two years apart and the participants were followed for 10 additional years.
The research shows only an association, but researchers from the study say the findings show the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment of health anxiety.