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STRESS CAN LEAD TO HEART DISEASES

by The Welthi Bureau, November 30th, 2020

stress can lead to heart diseases
 Image used for representational purpose only

Stress is a normal part of life, but if left unmanaged it can lead to emotional, psychological and physical problems. Stress is recognized as an important risk factor predisposing to heart disease.

 

How does stress increase the risk for heart disease?

 

Stress can lead to heart disease either directly by itself (or) indirectly by aggravating other risk factors for heart disease.

 

Dr. Ramesh Gudapati, Consultant Cardiologist, Star Hospitals, said, “Stress leads to elevated levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which increase the risk of heart attack. Hormonal and neurochemical changes in the body due to stress aggravate the blood pressure, cholesterol levels and sugar levels. When a person is stressed he exercises less, there is a tendency to overeat, smoke more, consume excess of alcohol and have disturbed sleep. All of these can increase the risk of heart attacks.”

 

In individuals who already have preexisting heart disease, sudden stress can lead to heart attacks. Sudden stress disrupts the lining of the blood vessel walls and increases clotting tendency of blood thereby leading to sudden total occlusion of blood vessels supplying the heart, resulting in heart attacks.

 

Even in those individuals who do not have heart problem, long term stress can lead to blockages in heart blood vessels leading to heart attacks.

 

Sudden severe stress can cause severe irregularity in heart beat leading to sudden cardiac death. Severe stress can also depress the heart muscle function leading to heart failure (Takotsubo cardiomyopathy).

 

Scientific trials have shown that chronic work stress and marital discord increased the risk of cardiovascular mortality in men on long term follow-up. To quote the late dutch internist Johannes Groen “What can a person do, where can he go if he is unhappy at work and at home? To an early grave”.

 

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