Anxiety even if mild and undiagnosed raises risk of early death

OUT OF 100 PEOPLE IN A ROOM, 25 WILL HAVE A DIAGNOSED MENTAL ILLNESS. OUT OF THE 75 LEFT, 56 REMAIN UNDIAGNOSED, SO THAT LEAVES 19. IT’S TIME TO START TALKING

Anxiety is spiraling it seems if you judge by reported cases. Cases are up by 10%, 1 in 7 people are already on anti-anxiety medication and spending is increasing dramatically and this latest research states that anxiety raises your chance of death. Now of course that’s reporting and sensationalism when written in a head line and yet as a statistic it might just scare you in to doing something. The group looked at weren’t those diagnosed with anything. They were people with milder levels of stress, depression and or anxiety. At a mild level people still need to do something states Dr Russ. Not medication, but an alternative. As Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, said: “This research highlights the importance of seeking help for mental health problems as soon as they become apparent, as early intervention leads to much better health outcomes all round.”

So come see me and let’s start talking.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9441038/Anxiety-raises-risk-of-early-death-by-a-fifth.html

Anxiety ‘raises risk of early death by a fifth’

Even low levels of stress of anxiety can increase the risk of fatal heart attacks or stroke by up to a fifth, a study has shown.

Anxiety and low-level depression appear to set off physiological changes that make the body more prone to death from cardiovascular disease. Photo: ALAMY

 

By Stephen Adams (http://www NULL.telegraph NULL.co NULL.uk/journalists/stephen-adams/), Medical Correspondent

A quarter of adults are at risk of an early death even though their problems are relatively mild, it found.

People who suffer from clinical depression or other major mental health problems have a greater chance of dying early.

But now British researchers have found that even those with problems they don’t consider serious enough to bring to a doctor’s attention, are at an increased risk.

The team found those with “sub-clinical” anxiety or depression had a 20 per cent higher chance of dying over a decade than those who did not.

The researchers, from universities and hospitals in Edinburgh and London, looked at deaths in 68,000 middle aged and older people who they followed from 1994 to 2004.

They found those suffering from sub-clinical anxiety and depression were at a 29 per cent increased risk of dying from heart disease and stroke.

They were also at a 29 per cent increased risk of dying from ‘external causes’ like road accidents and suicide, although these only accounted for a tiny proportion of deaths.

It had been thought that depressed or anxious people were more likely to die early because they failed to take good care of themselves – perhaps smoking and drinking more, eating worse and doing less exercise.

But Dr Tom Russ, lead author of the study, published in the British Medical Journal, said: “These ‘usual suspects’ only make a small difference to mortality.”

Even when these factors and others – including blood pressure – were stripped out of the equation, the link remained, he emphasised.

The psychiatrist, of the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre at Edinburgh University, said this suggested stress altered the physiology of the body to make it intrinsically less healthy.

In particular, he said it could make the body more vulnerable to heart attack and stroke.

He said: “It’s early days, but there’s growing interest in potential physiological changes associated with both distress and cardiovascular pathology.”

Dr Russ pointed out that the group they looked at were not those with serious depression who were simply avoiding medical help.

“If these individuals went to a doctor, they wouldn’t be diagnosed with depression,” he said.

So many people had mild anxiety or depression, “that we really need to take it seriously”, he argued.

But he said neither he nor colleagues who worked on the project were advocating “the medicalisation of anxiety”, nor suggesting people suffering from it should go on drugs.

If anything, they thought treatments not based on drugs should be investigated.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, said: “This research highlights the importance of seeking help for mental health problems as soon as they become apparent, as early intervention leads to much better health outcomes all round.”

*Meanwhile, new figures show that the number of anti-depressants prescriptions being issued in England has risen by almost 10 per cent in just a year.

Data from the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care show that the number rose from 42.8 million prescriptions in 2010 to 46.7million in 2011 – a rise of 3.9 million, or 9.1 per cent.

The NHS is now spending £49.8 million on anti-depressants such as citalopram and fluoxetine, better known by its brand name, Prozac.

Of all drug types, antidepressants saw the biggest rise in cost and items dispensed between 2010 and 2011.

 

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