La Coop P.A.- General and Forensic Psychiatry - Boutique-Private Psychiatric and Forensic Practice in Tampa-Clearwater-Florida


September, 2010

In This Issue: Psychiatric problems are JUST AS important as medical ones

Hi! As you know, in my practice I focus on the biological aspects of Psychiatric problems because I know that they are important. In fact, Psychiatric problems are so entwined with medical ones that they look similar and sometime feed off of one another. Below, I will review an article with you that came out in the Archives of General Psychiatry last month that illustrates the points that I try to hit home with my patients regularly.

I hope you get something out of this article and I look forward to seeing you soon!

Dr. L

Scared to Death?1

This research study was an aspect of a larger cardiac study that was done called The Heart and Soul Study. That study was designed to determine how psychological disorders lead to cardiovascular events in outpatients with stable heart disease. Stable means that they didn't have any active symptoms for at least a year, but they were known to have heart disease from testing and previous treatment.

The study population was more than 1000 outpatients with stable heart disease. They watched these people and followed up with them over 9 years.

What they found was that Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) was associated with a 74% greater rate of cardiovascular events (stroke, heart failure, heart attack, mini strokes, or death) when controlled for other common culprits (smoking, poor medication compliance, and lack of physical activity).

Another thing they found out is that the cause really is unknown for the increased cardiac events because they tried to assume it was due to an overall increased heart rate (given anxiety), elevated cortisol levels (they are typically elevated in anxious patients), or norepinephrine levels - but those weren't shown to be causing the problem.

What they do think is that these anxious people could be less compliant with treatment because they avoid their providers out of anxiety (hmmm - I think that I have that problem with a few of you!) and therefore they miss crucial things. Another thing that they have found is that people with GAD have lower levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and that leads to increased cardiac risks.

How do you get those Omega 3s? Walnuts, flaxseeds, beans, fish, olive oil and winter squash will provide you with concentrated sources of omega-3 fats.

Until next time!
Dr. L

Research for yourself!

1: Martens EJ, De Jong P, Na B, et. al. Scared to Death? Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Cardiovascular Events in Patients with Stable Coronary Heart Disease. Arch Gen Psychiatry. Vol 67 (No. 7), July 2010

Join My Mailing List

View Newsletter Archive

About La Coop, P.A.