Home / Research & Resources / Can Anxiety Cause Elevated Troponin?
Can Anxiety Cause Elevated Troponin?

Can Anxiety Cause Elevated Troponin?

Anxiety can cause many symptoms or conditions that you might not even think of. Since the signs of an anxiety disorder are so varied, it can be challenging to pin down what is happening to you. However, there are ways of testing for underlying causes for this anxiety, and ways to treat it. The question remains; can anxiety cause elevated troponin?

When your anxiety triggers your body's 'fight or flight' response, it causes all kinds of changes. An increased heart rate is one of the most common symptoms of anxiety. It can also be one of the most potentially dangerous symptoms.

Your heart must have close monitoring, especially if you have other risk factors. With multiple, extended episodes of increased heart rate, your heart may become overwhelmed. It might even be enough to cause troponin, a protein group that does not usually appear without heart damage, show up in a blood test.

What is Troponin?

There is a group of proteins in your blood that helps to keep contractions of the skeletal and heart muscles at normal levels. These proteins, called troponin, release into the blood after an injury. Your doctor can test your blood for these proteins that may indicate a heart attack.

Troponin C, Troponin I, and Troponin T work together when something happens to the heart. First, Troponin C transports Troponin I by binding calcium. Troponin causes the muscles to contract, which allows troponin T to bind proteins to the fibers of your muscles. Tests that measure troponin usually look at just troponin T.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

  • Discomfort in the chest
  • Jaw pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

Your doctor can perform a blood test to look at the levels of troponin in your blood, especially if you experience symptoms of a heart attack. These levels can stay elevated for up to 2 weeks. This blood test is not the only test they will do; they will need more information for an accurate diagnosis.

Causes of Abnormal Results

  • Heartbeat abnormally fast
  • Heart attack
  • Sepsis
  • Damage to the heart from chemotherapy
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Spasm of the coronary artery
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Infection of the heart
  • Chronic kidney disease or kidney failure
  • Myocarditis
  • Prolonged exercise
  • Heart damage from drug use
  • Traumatic heart injury
  • Medical procedures
  • Open heart surgery
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Cardiac stenting or angioplasty

If you have a heart attack, your doctor will want to treat it right away. Any delays may contribute to heart difficulties you already have. First, they must find out if you had one not. To do this, they will take a blood sample.

The sample will tell your doctor your troponin levels, and they will continue testing from there if they seem elevated. These tests may involve assessing your health in general. If your doctor discovers more evidence of a heart attack from these tests, they will start treating you.

Heart Attack Treatment

  • Surgery
  • A stent may help a blocked vessel to stay open
  • Bypass surgery allows doctors to create new blood pathways to the heart
  • Angioplasty involves opening a blockage with a small balloon in the coronary artery
  • Ablation
    • Uses radio waves to destroy heart cells
  • Medications that dissolve blood clots

If a heart attack is not the cause of your elevated troponin, treatment may differ. Your doctor may also recommend changes to your lifestyle to reduce your risk. Improving your diet, managing your weight, quitting smoking, and exercise are all parts of these suggested lifestyle changes.

The Cardiovascular System and Anxiety

Cardiovascular system & troponin

When you have anxiety, the symptoms can take a toll on your heart if left untreated. Any sort of prolonged stress on your heart is bound to have long-term effects. Because symptoms may include hyperventilation, increased heart rate, and inflammation of specific markers, you and your doctor must take anxiety seriously, especially if you already have heart troubles.

There is no single cure or treatment for anxiety. Different people will react to things in their way. Your doctor will work with you and tailor your treatment to fit with your health history and lifestyle.

As with most treatment for any condition, not everything works for everyone. A little trial and error may help your doctor figure out what you need. This method can be frustrating if it takes some time, but it is worth it in the end if you end up feeling better.

Anxiety Treatments

  • Therapy with a professional
  • Several types of therapy help with anxiety. Your doctor may refer you to a therapist or psychiatrist that will talk things through with you.
  • CBT
  • Exposure therapy
  • Group therapy
  • DBT
  • Hypnosis
  • Prescribed Medication
    • Your doctor might decide to prescribe some medication to help ease your anxiety. This medication can combine with therapy, but that is not always the case. Your doctor may have you try a particular type of therapy treatment first and add medications later if there is little success.
      • SSRI/SNRI
      • Beta-blockers
      • Other Drugs
      • Benzodiazepines
  • Self-Help
    • Improving your lifestyle and making some changes might be all you need to overcome anxiety. Whether it means quitting smoking or getting enough exercise, changing aspects of your life for the better will always help. Even if it is hard to get going, the smallest changes can make a big difference.

Regardless of what causes your anxiety, it is essential to have it assessed by your doctor. If you ignore it for too long, it will cause you issues down the line. These problems can include an elevated level of troponin, which your doctor may find concerning.


Many things can cause elevated levels, but stress on the heart is the main factor. Because of this, anxiety is something to pay extra attention too. Speak with your doctor if you feel like anxiety is a problem for you, and they will get you on the road to recovery.

Determining if anxiety can elevate troponin is a slightly faulted question. The real question should be can an anxiety-related health ailment lead to elevated troponin? This is because anxiety can not directly raise the levels, it will only rise with an active heart issue such as heart attack.



  1. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007452.htm
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325415
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5914457/
  4. https://www.ucsfhealth.org/medical-tests/007452
  5. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=167&contentid=troponin
  6. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160403195916.htm#:~:text=Summary%3A,chest%20pain%20at%20that%20moment.
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5149447/#:~:text=Anxiety%20and%20its%20associated%20disorders,adverse%20cardiovascular%20outcomes%2C%20including%20mortality.
  8. https://www.anxiety.org/treatments


Leave a comment