Stress increases the risk for cardiovascular disease

Stress increases the risk for cardiovascular disease

Stress is bad for our heart

Stress is known to be not good for our health. Researchers found out now that Stress also increases the risk for the development of heart disease significantly.

In a recent joint study by the University of Iceland and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, it was found that Stress and stress-related diseases, the risk for heart disease massively increase. The results of the investigation were published in the English journal “BMJ”.

Too much Stress is detrimental to our health and increases the risk for heart disease. (Photo: Kaspars Grinvalds/

What are Stress triggers?

High Stress levels, is detrimental to the health of our heart. When people lose a loved one, this increases the risk for heart disease by 64 percent. People who suffer from stress-related disorders, such as PTSD, are at risk in the first year of a traumatic event is particularly strong. The researchers studied patients with stress-related diseases, a group of psychiatric disorders that are triggered by a stressful life event. Such events can be, for example, with the loss of a loved one, the diagnosis of a fatal disease, natural disasters, or violent Assault.

Data from 136.637 people were evaluated

Previous studies investigating the connection between Stress and heart disease, focused mainly on war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The new study, however, should find out, how stressful life events influence the wide Public. The data of 136.637 persons were analyzed, in which between 1987 and 2013 for a stress related disorder was diagnosed. The patients in the study were compared with their siblings. Overall, there were 171.314 siblings.

Other reasons for stress-related disorders

As another example, an acute stress reaction, in people after a stressful event, anxiety, Flashbacks, or develop heart palpitations is in addition to PTSD. A so-called adjustment disorder occurs when a Person experiences more Stress than in response to a simple Problem, such as for example, one would expect a change of job.

Risk is increased for a year by 64 percent

Each Patient was also compared with ten randomly selected individuals of the same sex and birth year, which were, however, free from stress-related disorders or heart disease. The results indicate that stressed people suffer from more cardiovascular disease, if you are faced with a traumatic life event. The risk is in the first year after the event at the highest. Those in the early age of a stress-related disorder was diagnosed, were also more at risk. The study shows a clear link between stress related illnesses and a higher risk for heart disease, report the authors of the study. The results remained also after adjustment to the education of the patient, the medical history, and other psychiatric conditions.

Further research is needed

Most people are exposed at some point in your life, psychological trauma or stressful life events such as the death of a loved one. The results of the study indicate that such offenses can lead to an increased risk for multiple serious diseases and increased mortality, explain the researchers. Since the current investigation is an observational study, however, the causal relationship is not clear and further research is urgently on this issue. (as)