Friday, December 12, 2008

Now What?! It Pays to be Paranoid? A Panic over Panic.

The European Heart Journal recently reported that heart disease is more common in patients with panic attacks than in the general population. Moreover, they found the risk in person under 50 years of age. But curiously this same group was found to be less likely to die from heart disease. Researcher Dr. Kate Walters opined, "The symptoms of panic attacks can closely mimic those of a heart attack or acute (heart) disease, and it seems that there may be a complex relationship between them."

The study compared 58,000 patients aged 16 and older who had been diagnosed with panic disorder against a random sample of 347,000 persons without panic disorder. Panic disorder was associated with a 38% increase risk of heart attack in the under 50 group. Even more startling was the finding the risk for women under 40 was more than three times the risk for the general population

Now here is the REAL kicker. As I mentioned earlier, while the risk for heart disaease was higher, researchers determined that death from heart disease was actually LOWER in patients with panic disorder. When asked what could account for this seemingly paradoxical finding researchers suggested, "people with panic present earlier or more frequently to their doctor and therefore have their (heart disease) identified and treated."

So let me get this straight. Because panic attacks can mimic heart attacks, those with panic disorder tend to present for clinical testing more often thus catch their heart disease at an earlier stage and therefore live longer! So, where heart disease is concerned, it pays to be paranoid?!

Seriously, as a person who is prone to paranoia (just because your not paranoid, it doesn't mean "they" are not still after you) I sympathize with those who have full blown panic attacks. But if this means living longer I say better safe than sorry. For those with a lower state of anxiety, I simply suggest.

1. Get a heart scan - know your score
2. Get on the Track Your Plaque program - the remarkable clinical results achieved by Dr. Davis have been independently corroborated by cardiologists like Dr. Bill Blanchet. The best part is the program keeps getting better.
3. Rest easy in the knowledge you are enploying the latest, cutting edge medical science available and have put yourself in population that appears to significantly reduce its heart attack risk at any calcium score!

'Nuff Said,



Thomas Vanhecke said...

I enjoy your blog. You provide a good perspective. I have noticed your recommendation for calcium scoring several times.... I do believe in the role of this technology, but there are several caveats.
Calcium scoring is very sensitive at picking up calcified atherosclerosis, it is "cheaper" than CTA, has lower radiation and may be the only thing available at more rural settings.
However, I think that eventually it will be almost obsolete once these new CT scanners are widespread. In November, Siemens released its "flash" CT which is a dual-source "256" slice CT scanner. It can image the entire heart in <70 milliseconds, (or entire body in <7 seconds). Because of the speed of this CT scanner, the radiation dose is very small.
We currently use a dual-source 128 slice CT. We get a calcium score we each scan, but we really find useful the image data that provides information about location, degree of stenosis and other anatomic info.
The final thing that CT scores (and many times CTA) are limited is the elderly (too much calcium), or those with many risk factors.
CT scores are useful in patients with dye allergy..

Brate said...

So, it is now a wise decision to keep a constant monitoring of your health. Why to take a chance if we have the option. I was in the similar misconception that heart disease are far away waiting for me to get aged. But to my surprise, I was found to be having a calcium deposit in my coronary arteries. I need to have my advance diagnostic scans due reassure whether something really deadly is waiting for me. Though it was some dreadful going on in my life, but I never felt any kind of discomfort in advanced diagnostic facility. They were having some of the latest diagnostic equipments and non invasive techniques which made me feel safe. Their medical office in Los Angeles was more than what I had expected with some latest diagnostic techniques which help make earth a better place to live.

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