Table 2. Possible Causes of Anxietya

Medical ProblemExamples
Poorly controlled painInsufficient or as-needed pain medications.
Abnormal metabolic statesHypoxia, pulmonary embolus, sepsis, delirium, hypoglycemia, bleeding, coronary occlusion, or heart failure.
Hormone-secreting tumorsPheochromocytoma, thyroid adenoma or carcinoma, parathyroid adenoma, corticotropin-producing tumors, and insulinoma.
Anxiety-producing drugsCorticosteroids, neuroleptics used as antiemetics, thyroxine, bronchodilators, beta-adrenergic stimulants, antihistamines, and benzodiazepines (paradoxical reactions are often seen in older persons).
Anxiety-producing conditionsSubstance withdrawal (from alcohol, opioids, or sedative-hypnotics).

aAdapted from Massie.[11]

From: Adjustment to Cancer: Anxiety and Distress (PDQ®)

Cover of PDQ Cancer Information Summaries
PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet].
Bethesda (MD): National Cancer Institute (US); 2002-.

NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.