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High Stress Drives Up Your Risk Of A Heart Attack. Here's how to chill out



Work Stress. Home stress. Financial stress.

The toll of chronic stress is not limited to emotional suffering. High stress can set the stage for heart disease.

If fact, those shows are those who experience a high risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems over the long term.

The latest evidence comes from a new study of siblings in Sweden. Researchers identified about 137,000 people who had been diagnosed with stress-related disorders; the diagnoses included post-traumatic stress disorder or acute stress following a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one or a violent episode.

Next, they compared the siblings' rates of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, cardiac arrest and blood clots, over a number of years.

The Swedes who had a stress disorder, it turns out, had significantly higher rates of heart problems compared to their siblings.

"We saw [about] a 60 percent increased risk of having any cardiovascular events, within the first year after being diagnosed, says researcher Unnur A Valdimarsdóttir of the Karolinska Institute, and a professor of epidemiology at the University of Iceland.

The findings, published in the current issue of the medical journal BMJ "are quite consistent with other studies," says Simon Bacon, of Concordia University, who studies the impact of lifestyle on chronic diseases. Depression, anxiety and stress increase the risk of cardiovascular events.

So, when it's just a normal part of life ̵

1; something we all just need to deal with – and when it becomes so problematic that it stages the disease?

We have all experienced the fight-or-flight stress response.

19659002] "Imagine you're walking the street and someone jumps out and gives you a scare," says Bacon. What happens? Your heart rate increases and your blood pressure climbs. "You have that immediate activation," Bacon says. And, in the short term, this temporary response is good.

"When people have stress disorders, these problems come to an end."

systems are being activated at all the wrong times, "Bacon says.

"Over the long term, repeated."

"The long term, repeated." , persistent [stress] responses to activate the immune system and contribute to inflammation, "says Dr. med. Ernesto Schiffrin, a physician and professor of medicine at McGill University. He says inflammation can set the stage for atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries. Arteries are carrying blood to their heart and body.

So, since we can not wave a magic wand and make stress disappear, what are the best coping options? There's no magic bullet, but day-to-day habits can help down stress.

Schiffrin says he gives his patients this advice: Eat in a healthy way, try to have good relationships, have a good attitude, spend time in nature, and exercise. "I think exercise is critical," Schiffrin says. Thus, let's take a closer look at each other.

  • Exercise When researchers analyzed CDC survey data from more than one million adults in the US those who did not exercise. And, as we've reported, there's an extra 'boost' in mental health linked to playing team sports. But, do you prefer a simple walk, forest-bathing, or a group activity?
  • Cultivate Friendships Loneliness is an epidemic. 2 in 5 respondents reported lacking companionship or said they felt isolated from others. Yet, spending time with friends can really boost our moods.
  • Learn Meditation Or Relaxation Techniques Mindfulness meditation has been shown to tamp down the stress response, and even help reduce blood pressure among people who can maintain the habit. Eat Well There is indeed a link between food and mood. Carbohydrates and sugars can be used in packaged snacks and sodas. Help for Anxiety Disorders
  • Seek Help for Anxiety Disorders These days-to-day habits may help reduce the amount of stress you feel, but for people with stress disorders PTSD it may be best to reach out to a professional for help. "People should treat their mental health issues," says Bacon. You do not have to 'grin and bear it.' Mental health professionals have lots of tools.

"You do not want to put yourself in a position where you could make your health worse by not doing anything," Bacon says.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


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