Can Panic Attacks Give Me Heart Disease?

Thursday, 23 May 2013 03:02 PM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: Can panic attacks give me heart disease?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
 
No. Panic attacks do not produce heart disease. But they may set you up for a heart attack if you have underlying coronary artery disease, especially in combination with risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, and diabetes.
 
That being said, panic attacks can cause a rush of epinephrine and stress hormones to your heart and produce an "accidental" heart attack when underlying vessel disease, spasm, or injury is present and the stress severe enough.

This is why we see sometimes see stress correlating with heart attacks.

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