If anxiety gets out of control, it can threaten more than your happiness. In heart patients who were stable at the beginning of a six-year study, the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure or cardiac arrest was 74% higher in those plagued by tensions serious enough to be diagnosed as ‘generalised anxiety disorder’. ‘Anxiety is truly a medical risk that needs to be addressed,’ says head researcher Dr Elisabeth Martens of Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Psychotherapy, medication, biofeedback and applied relaxation techniques have all been shown to help keep the body and mind from overreacting.
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