Even mild stress coud increase the risk of lethal heart attacks and stroke by thwenty percent, warned researchers from the University of Edinburgh. They revelaed that symptoms of depression or anxiety called psychological distress could raise rates of deaths from numerous major reasons.
For their study reseasrhers analysed statistics from nearly seventy thousand people aged above thirty-five, who participated in the Health Survey for England from 1994 to 2004. They evaluated the role of anxiety and stress in mortality from causes including heart disease, cancer and external reasons happened during the period of eight years.
Researchers measured psychological distress with the help of a recognised scale ranging from no symptoms to severe. They used death certificates to verify the cause of death. They found that psychological distress was a risk factor for death from all reasons including cardiovascular disease and external causes. Even people with low distress scores were at an increased risk of death.
If someone scores one, two or three on recognised scale, he or she may be suffering some form of social dysfunction or loss of confidence but GPs will not diagnose them with psychological distress. But mortality risk among this group of people increased by five fold. People at the higest end of the scale with severe symptoms were twice at risk.
Lead author Dr Tom Russ from Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research explained the fact that an increased risk of mortality was evident, even at low levels of psychological distress, should prompt study into whether treatment of these very common, minor symptoms can modify this increased risk of death.
These associations also remained after considering other aspects such as weight, exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption and diabetes. Therefore this increased mortality is not simply the result of people with higher levels of psychological distress smoking or drinking more, or taking less exercise, stated Dr David Batty from University College London.The study was published in the British Medical Journal.