Stress ‘as bad for heart as smoking five cigarettes a day’

21 December 2012

People who suffer from stress are 27 per cent more likely to have a heart attack than those who tend not to over-worry.

This is the major finding of a new study, which was published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Centre found that people who suffer from extreme levels of stress can do the same damage to the heart as someone who smokes up to five cigarettes a day.

“These findings are significant because they are applicable to nearly everyone,” explained Safiya Richardson, the main author of the study.

“The key takeaway message is that how people feel is important for their heart health, so anything they can do to reduce stress may improve their heart health in the future.”

Donald Edmondson, assistant professor of behavioural medicine at CUMC and co-author of the study, added: “This is the most precise estimate of that relationship, and it gives credence to the widely held belief that general stress is related to heart health.”

Posted by Edward Bartel

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