Poster 8: Assosiasjonen mellom helseangst, kreft, og kardiovaskulære sykdommer

HA is important to address in people with major chronic diseases, as HA may pose an additional burden in people with chronic non-communicable diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Background: Health anxiety (HA) is a condition ranging from mild worry to excessive anxiety about disease. The prevalence of people living with and after cancer and cardiovascular diseases is increasing due to improved diagnostics and treatment, and the association between HA and the two largest non-communicable diseases is therefore of growing interest and relevance. The aim was therefore to examine the association between HA and cancer and cardiovascular diseases, both current and previous disease.

Methods: We used cross-sectional data from the Tromsø 7 study. HA was measured with a revised version of the Whiteley Index-6 (WI-6-R), with a total score ranging from 0-24. 7 655 and 8047 participants aged 40 years or older gave self-reported information on WI-6-R, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, respectively. Cancer was registered as one category (no, previously not now, currently), whereas cardiovascular diseases included heart failure, atrial fibrillation, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Included participants had no other diseases asked for in Tromsø 7, and the two disease categories were mutually exclusive, i.e., that participants reporting both cancer and cardiovascular disease were excluded from the analyses. Associations were explored using exponential regression analysis. Mental illness, demographics, disease in first-degree relatives, and socioeconomic- and social variables were included as confounders.

Results: The mean HA score in the population was 2.9 of 24 points. Having current cancer or cardiovascular disease was significantly associated with increased HA, with HA score 119 and 50 % higher levels, respectively, after adjusting for confounders. Having previous cancer or cardiovascular disease was associated with a lower increase of HA, albeit still significant (31 % and 28 % increase in HA score).

Conclusion: HA is significantly associated with having cancer and cardiovascular disease. These findings were consistent both in participants stating current as well as previous disease, indicating that HA is persistent also after recovering from disease. As severe HA is associated with high healthcare use and reduced quality of life, HA in people with disease is of importance in public health.


Birgit Abelsen, Olav Helge Førde, Unni Ringberg


C1 - De yngre og de eldre - God fysisk og psykisk helse hele livet




Institutt for helse og omsorgsfag, UiT Norges Arktiske universitet



Presenterende forfatter(e):

Anja Davis Norbye

Folkehelsekonferansens logoikon

Folkehelsekonferansen 2023
arrangeres av

I samarbeid med


Org. nummer: 983 513 786

Telefon: 954 95 003


Postadresse: Postboks 6686 St. Olavs plass, 0129 Oslo