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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Anxiety and Cardiovascular Disease

Patients with cardiovascular disease—in particular, those with implantable cardiac devices including pacemakers and ventricular assist devices—have a higher incidence of anxiety. It’s common to feel a loss of control or predictability, which can create symptoms of anxiety including: 

  • Loss of sleep
  • Jittery feelings
  • Change in appetite
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
Anxiety can slow healing and increase the risk of repeat cardiac events, but it is manageable. Experts on the Cardiac Behavioral Medicine team teach patients strategies that minimize anxiety, including relaxation exercises, visualization, breathing techniques and more.
Patients with anxiety related to their cardiovascular disease may also experience depression or stress, and may benefit from changing lifestyle behaviors. We also offer guidance on lifestyle behaviors and help with preparing for and recovering from surgery.

Team Approach to Cardiac Behavioral Medicine

Kim L. Feingold, PhD, director of Cardiac Behavioral Medicine, Gail M. Osterman, PhD, and Paul Goetz, PhD, specialize in helping patients and their families adjust to a diagnosis and cope with challenges throughout the course of treatment.

Contact Us Today

To schedule an evaluation or inquire about services regarding Cardiac Behavioral Medicine through the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, please call 866-662-8467
Last UpdateApril 26, 2013