How Does Stress Increase Heart Attack Risk

How Does Stress Increase Heart Attack Risk?

Stress is associated with increased risk of developing a heart attack. However, researchers are not sure exactly how stress raises the risk of a heart attack. According to a research, people with highly stressful lives have a 23 % increased risk of developing a heart attack. The study has been performed on about 200,000 people from seven European countries. Their findings show that stressful jobs are associated with an increased risk of a first coronary heart disease. Professor Mika Kivimäki of University College of London (UCL) led the particular research. The researchers followed the 200,000 people for about 7.5 years and noted 2,356 heart attacks or other first coronary heart diseases during the study. They found that people with stressful jobs had 23 % higher risk of a heart attack than other people.

Stress itself may be a risk factor for heart diseases, which is not well proven yet. Higher levels of stress can worsen other risk factors of heart disease such as high blood pressure, high sugar, and high-cholesterol levels. If you are with a stressful life, you may smoke, overeat, and exercise less. Long-term (chronic) stress can raise your stress hormone (cortisol and adrenaline) levels. They increase the blood pressure and sugar, which are well-known risk factors of coronary heart disease. Some studies showed that stress was associated with changes of the natural clotting mechanism of the blood. Therefore, it can increase the risk of a heart disease.

Even if you have a stressful life, you can lower the risk of developing a heart attack. All depend on healthy ways of managing your stress.


(Photo courtesy: stuartpilbrow)


Related Links:

How to Manage Your Stress?
How Do You Prevent Another Heart Attack?
Married People Have Healthy Hearts
How to Live a Simple Life?
Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

About the author
Dr. Nalaka Priyantha is the founder and author of 'DRN Health'. He currently works at the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka as a senior medical officer. He is blogging about healthy living since 2012.
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