Middle-aged men who worry a lot may develop a higher chance of developing risk factors for heart disease, according to a new Boston University study.

Researchers found middle-aged men who were anxious and worried more may be at greater biological risk for developing heart disease, stroke and Type-2 diabetes as they get older.

“While the participants were primarily white men, our findings indicate higher levels of anxiousness or worry among men are linked to biological processes that may give rise to heart disease and metabolic conditions, and these associations may be present much earlier in life than is commonly appreciated – potentially during childhood or young adulthood,” said Lewina Lee, Ph.D., lead author of the study, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, and an investigator and clinical psychologist at the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, both in Boston.

For men who do worry a lot, researchers suggest getting routine health checkups.