Does worrying over getting sick make you sick?

I have told some of my loved ones about feeling this way, and they don’t seem quite to understand the concept. It’s not a good idea to worry about being sick or to take undue stress because of it. Those particular individuals will go unnamed, but they know who they are. According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, thinking that stress is undermining your health may indeed be doing just that. If you worry you are at risk of a heart attack your risk of getting one may indeed be twice that of someone who thinks they are completely healthy. Researchers collected data from more than 7,000 individuals who participated in the study of London based civil employees over several decades. After studying the data, researchers revealed that the study participants who reported they felt that the stress was significantly affecting their health had doubled the risk of heart attacks as compared to those who said stress had no effect on their health. After adjusting the data for other risk factors, the additional risk of a heart attack was still 49 percent higher compared to study participants who didn’t feel that stress was affecting their health.

I once again can beg and plead for some of my loved ones to please stop worrying about their health. They are much better off just hitting the gym and adjusting their diet than worrying about their health. It’s like I tell my son, when he is stressed out about an upcoming math test. He can choose to worry about it, but the best thing he can do is study his little tail off and hope for the best. Why worry about anything if we are trying to put forth our best effort in doing well on a test or taking care of our own health?

Dr. Shah, M.D.