Posted: Feb 4, 2013 10:06 AM by NBC News
Unhealthy behaviors like smoking, binge drinking and poor diets may be the result of stress and anxiety.
Researchers in Providence, Rhode Island followed nearly 500 adults for a year. All had sought care at a clinic for sexually transmitted diseases.
Unprotected sex, smoking, sleeping too much or too little -- all of those behaviors were found to be coping mechanisms for depression and anxiety.
Study authors say referring patients for mental health screening or stress reduction techniques may help improve their health behaviors.
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