Study links panic attacks and heart disease

18 June 2015

2008 Menzies Scholar in Allied Health, Dr Phillip Tully, has played a lead role in a new study which shows panic attacks can lead to heart disease.

The journal Psychological Medicine has published research showing people who suffer from panic disorder are 47 per cent more likely to develop heart disease later in life.

The research led by University of Adelaide researchers and two researchers from German universities, reviewed 12 studies assessing the association between panic disease, related syndromes, and the incidence of coronary heart disease. The studies assessed more than 1 million people and approximately 58,000 coronary heart disease cases.

The analysis of the existing studies showed not only did panic disorder increase the risk of heart disease by up to 47 per cent, it also increased the risk of heart attack by 36 per cent.

University of Adelaide's Dr Phillip Tully, who is the recipient of a National Health and Medical Research Council fellowship, is the lead author of this research. Dr Tully received project grant funding of $25,000 from the Menzies Foundation and funding from the National Heart Foundation of Australia.