Can anxiety cause a stroke?

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    Anxiety or stress plays a very important role in your cardiovascular health.

    If you are in a down mood, your body is subdued and liable for diseases to “sink” in. Anxiety often leads to anger or dissatisfaction, or conflict in your life, and all these could directly get your blood pressure high, and the impact will be felt in the arteries in brain too.

    If stimulus is severe, and your arteries were already in an unhealthy condition – negative lifestyle lead to blood plaque buildups or early aging of arteries, you will significantly increase your chance of getting cardiovascular problems like stroke.

    If you want to nip it in the bud, you should remember the three pillar of good health: a good mood and peaceful mind, regular reasonable exercise and healthy dieting habit.


    Not directly!

    However, if a person has a predisposition to stroke or have a cardiovascular disorder or complications/illness that increase their likelihood of getting a stroke, then the added stress that comes from anxiety can be the trigger that results in a stroke!

    If you think about the symptoms of anxiety-rumination or racing thoughts-they can trigger stress related hormones to be released and increase the chance of stroke.

    Other factors like the physiological symptoms of anxiety-increased heartbeat, hyperventilation, the whole flight or fight response being activated on a daily basis-then this is likely to put extreme stress on the body.

    If the person is not young and healthy (and has anxiety disorder) and has some of the above mentioned cardiovascular disorders- then this will increase the likely hood that person may have a stroke or related injury.

    So, if you know anyone that fits the above criteria, then it’s probably worth repeating what their doctor may have told them. Try to relax and don’t push yourself physically and try to get treatment (therapy and medication) to reduce the anxiety levels to an acceptable level.


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    No — there have been no long-term studies that link stroke risk with anxiety.

    Not to say that you shouldn’t manage your anxiety, a little bit of it is very healthy, to much reduces quality of life dramatically.

    EDIT: The AHA did a study a while back, but the results were highly contested and should be taken with a grain of salt. There have been enough studies to show that a correlation doesn’t exist.

    Their finding did point out one thing, people who have high anxiety tend to live less than ideal lifestyles, which would cause a potential increase in the chances of stroke.


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    Anxiety was a contributing factor in my stroke. It didn’t cause it alone but I would not have had the kind of stroke I had if I had not been extremely stressed out at the time.

    There were other factors though.

    I had been on birth control pills for 8 years prior. I also had taken the diet drug phen phen. I also was a heavy drinker and smoker then, I’d just come down from a high elevation and was misdiagnosed with having a migraine and given two large doses of a medication called Imitrex. Take away some of these factors and I never would have had the disabling, debilitating, devastating stroke that I had. I was the first person in my family to ever have one so there was no predisposition.

    I was going through a horrible divorce then too. So my stress was off the chart. It definately had something to do with it.

    No. A stroke is caused by a bloodclot or a bleeding in the brain(stem). Anxiety is a state of mind that may lead to physical reactions. Stroke isnt one of them.

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    Long term untreated anxiety could contribute to high blood pressure, which is the leading controllable risk factor for stroke.

    Anxiety is not exactly related with stroke, but anxiety can mimic stroke like illness .

    It’s very, very unlikely. Not worth worrying about.

    Kari Dahlgren has the best answer here – read that one instead.

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