SUBSCRIBE NOW Just 99¢ for your first month

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Health Fusion: Men who worry and their risk of heart disease

Men who worry may be at increased of getting heart disease younger. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams has details of a new study about the potential negative effects of worrying.

Men who sorry
Men who worry may develop health risks, study shows
Dreamstime/TNS
We are part of The Trust Project.

ROCHESTER — What triggers you to worry? Your job, money, relationships, politics, the pandemic?

The list of potential worry-inducing issues goes on. And research reveals that worry is bad for your health.

If you're a middle-aged man who worries or is often anxious, your risk of developing heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes may go up as you get older. That's according to research in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“While the participants were primarily white men, our findings indicate higher levels of anxiousness or worry among men are linked to biological processes that may give rise to heart disease and metabolic conditions, and these associations may be present much earlier in life than is commonly appreciated — potentially during childhood or young adulthood,” says Lewina Lee, lead author of the study, and assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine.

Heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes can be lumped into a category called cardiometabolic diseases. The researchers looked at data from more than 1,500 middle-aged men to see if there was a relationship between anxiety and cardiometabolic diseases over time. Plus, the men in the study filled out questionnaires about their levels of worry and neuroticism.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lee defines neuroticism as a personality trait characterized by a tendency to interpret situations as threatening, stressful and/or overwhelming. And she says worry refers to our attempts at problem-solving around uncertain issues. Worry can be a good thing, but not when it interferes with daily life.

The researchers found that men with high levels of neuroticism had a greater number of high-risk cardiometabolic risk factors. And men who worried a lot had a 10% higher likelihood of having six or more cardiometabolic disease risk factors.

Might treatment for worry and anxiety help to reduce the risk factors? The researchers say they don't know that yet. But they say that men who worry should pay attention to their cardiometabolic health. By taking steps such as having regular checkups, controlling blood pressure and maintaining a healthy weight, men may be able to reduce their chances of developing disease.

What to read next
A small county in Tennessee for much of the past year has reported the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate in Tennessee and one of the highest in the South. If only it were true. The rate in Meigs County was artificially inflated by a data error that distorted most of Tennessee’s county-level vaccination rates by attributing tens of thousands of doses to the wrong counties, according to a KHN review of Tennessee’s vaccination data. When the Tennessee Department of Health quietly corrected the error last month, county rates shifted overnight, and Meigs County’s rate of fully vaccinated people dropped from 65% to 43%, which is below the state average and middling in the rural South.
The key is to continually remind children and teens that they are cared for, and to help them get back into the structure and familiar activities that give them a feeling of accomplishment. That's the advice of two experts from Mayo Clinic.
"Minding Our Elders" columnist Carol Bradley Bursack says there are times when a decision has to be made on behalf of a family member.
In today's world, stress is everywhere. Sometimes your to-do list becomes overwhelming. Meditation — even just 30 seconds a day— can help. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams talks with a meditation expert who explains how it works, gives a shout out to a study that about how meditation helps US Marines recover from stress and gives tips on how to fit meditation into your day. Give the practice a try on World Meditation Day, which happens yearly on Saturday, May 21.