Stress Can Break Your Heart

Posted by Pharmacist on July 20, 2013

A study published online in the European Heart Journal published June 26, 2013 confirms what many of us have thought for a long time: stress can seriously harm your health and well-being. The study observed 7,268 people, both men and women, with an average age of 50 at the beginning of the study. Over the course of the 18 years periodic questionnaires found 352 heart attacks or deaths attributed to coronary disease amongst the group.

During the study the members rated the effect of stress on their health ranging from no effect, a little, or a lot. The research team controlled for more than 20 variables, one of which was actual stress as it is measured by psychological tests. The results found that participants who indicated stress affected their health “a lot” had a 49 percent higher chance of having a heart attack or heart disease when compared to the rest of the group.

This information comes as no surprise, as the medical community has long advised Americans to reduce stress or improve coping mechanisms. Researchers found that higher stress levels often contributed to indirect habits such as excessive drinking or smoking, both of which can increase the odds of heart disease.

And while outside sources of stress cannot always be controlled, one does have the power to control their reaction. The study’s lead author Hermann Nabi, an epidemiologist at a public health research center in France mentions exercise, meditation and relaxation exercises. “But for severe cases,” he noted, “you need to look for professional help.”

 

Source –> European Heart Journal

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