Possibility of developing risk factors for heart diseases and diabetes at younger ages might be more among men who worry more as per a study at the Journal of the American Heart Association Report an open-access journal of the American Heart Association.
“Neuroticism is a personality trait characterized by a tendency to interpret situations as threatening, stressful and/or overwhelming. Individuals with high levels of neuroticism are prone to experience negative emotions – such as fear, anxiety, sadness and anger – more intensely and more frequently. Worry refers to our attempts at problem-solving around an issue whose future outcome is uncertain and potentially positive or negative. Worry can be adaptive, for example, when it leads us to constructive solutions. However, worry can also be unhealthy, especially when it becomes uncontrollable and interferes with our day-to-day functioning,” says Lewina Lee, PhD, lead author of the study, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, and an investigator and clinical psychologist at the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, both in Boston.
‘Men who are anxious and worry more may have an increased possibility of developing risk factors for heart diseases and diabetes at younger ages.’
The average number of cardiometabolic high-risk factors was found to be increased by about one per decade, averaging 3.8 risk factors by age 65, followed by a slower increase per decade after age 65 (age group: 33 to 65 years).
It was found that participants with higher levels of neuroticism and worry had a 13% and 10% higher likelihood of having six or more cardiometabolic disease risk factors respectively at all ages.
“We found that cardiometabolic disease risk increased as men aged, from their 30s into their 80s, irrespective of anxiety levels, while men who had higher levels of anxiety and worry consistently had a higher likelihood of developing cardiometabolic disease over time than those with lower levels of anxiety or worry,” says Lee.