Study suggests possible links between panic, heart attacks

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A panic attack can feel a lot like a heart attack.

And it could, in fact, signal that there's a heart attack in your future.

A study of more than 3,000 older women finds that those who reported at least one full-blown panic attack during a six month period were three times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke over the next five years than those who didn't report a panic attack.

The researchers took into account the other risk factors and still found that the panic attacks brought increased risk.

A panic attack can bring a rapid pulse and shortness of breath -- symptoms that feel like a heart attack.

The study was funded by the drug company that makes the anti-anxiety drug Paxil. And some of the co-authors have financial ties to the company and to others.

The study is published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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