Anxiety and its associated disorders are common in patients with cardiovascular disease and may significantly influence cardiac health. Anxiety disorders are associated with the onset and progression of cardiac disease, and in many instances have been linked to adverse cardiovascular outcomes, including mortality. Both physiologic (autonomic dysfunction, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, changes in platelet aggregation) and health behavior mechanisms may help to explain the relationships between anxiety disorders and cardiovascular disease. Given the associations between anxiety disorders and poor cardiac health, the timely and accurate identification and treatment of these conditions is of the utmost importance. Fortunately, pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic interventions for the management of anxiety disorders are generally safe and effective. Further study is needed to determine whether interventions to treat anxiety disorders ultimately impact both psychiatric and cardiovascular health.
Keywords: Anxiety; Cardiovascular disease; Generalized anxiety disorder; Panic disorder; Post-traumatic stress disorder.