The Link Between Anxiety & Stroke

There are many research studies highlighting the link between stress and coronary heart disease but there is little evidence to show the link between anxiety and stroke. A research review done in 2017 (Pérez has shown that 24% of 950,759 participants across 8 different research studies have limited evidence to show anxiety as a DIRECT cause to stroke.

Anxiety a risk factor for Stroke?

Many patients with stress induced anxiety are shown to have an effect on their high blood pressure due to lack of proper rest, sleep deprivation and unhealthy eating habits. High Blood Pressure is a strong risk factor to Ischemic Stroke.


Stroke due to stress at work

In 2016, then Finance Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat collapsed from a stroke during a Cabinet meeting. According to Law & Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, “[Mr Heng] was carrying an incredible load – handling the Financial Ministry, various projects, SG50 celebrations and the Committee for Future Economy”.

“I could see that he was very tired. I have been telling him that he was overworking so much that it will affect his health.”

Law & Home Affairs Minister K.Shanmugam

How can I manage my anxiety or stress?

Feelings of being overwhelmed with constant demands, lack of motivation, low energy levels and low productivity are signs of burnout. It is important to know how to manage anxiety and stress. It is also crucial to recognise the need to seek help if your anxiety interrupts your daily routines.


Find time to exercise every day for at least 20 minutes. Take time to brisk walk around your neighbourhood park or find a friend to exercise with you. Exercise is known to release endorphins, which are chemicals in our brain that helps improve our overall mood.


With exercise, you can sleep better at night. With better sleep, your overall mood will be improved significantly in the day.

Try Journalling

Consider writing down your thoughts and what you are stressed or anxious about. You can write down your feelings or what you are grateful for the day – the little things make a difference.

Spend more time with your family and friends

Make the effort to find time with your friends and family. Talking about your anxieties and stresses can help you to process your feeling better.

Even though there is no direct link between anxiety and stroke, however, the physical effects anxiety has on an individual’s lifestyle may be risk factors of stroke. Taking care of your mental and emotional well-being is as important as your physical well-being.


  1. HealthXchange Singapore (n.d.) Anxiety in Singapore: Stats, Types and Who’s At Risk. Retrieved from
  2. The Straits Times (24 May 2016). Stressed at Work? Beware of Stroke. Retrieved from
  3. American Heart Association (n.d.) Anxiety Linked to Long Term Stroke Risk. Retrieved from
  4. Pérez-Piñar, M., Ayerbe, L., González, E., Mathur, R., Foguet-Boreu, Q., & Ayis, S. (2017). Anxiety disorders and risk of stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Psychiatry, 41, 102-108.
  5. Today Online (12 May 2016). Heng Swee Keat appeared ‘very tired’ at Cabinet meeting before he collapsed. Retrieved from
  6. Healthline (n.d.) 16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety. Retrieved from
  7. Institute of Mental Health (n.d.) Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Retrieved from

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