Thoughts about an early death can make a person anxious or depressed. Now, a new study has found that anxiety and depression are among the psychological disorders that seem to contribute to early deaths. Talk about a vicious cycle.

According to a British survey of 68,000 people, those who had reported at least one symptom of psychological distress were more likely than those who didn’t to have died of everything from cancer to cardiovascular disease to injuries.

“Even with low levels of psychological distress — certainly much lower levels than would attract a diagnosis of anxiety or depression — these people had an increased risk of mortality from all causes,” said study author Tom Russ, a clinical research fellow at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. “The greater the level of distress, the greater the risk.”

Russ was able to come to this conclusion even after controlling for weight, physical activity and smoking and drinking habits. He further theorized that psychological distress could cause physiological changes in the body, leading to this increased risk of death. So try and take it easy.

[ABC News]