According to Reuters, a new report that aggregated six large studies, totaling nearly 118,000 participants, suggests that stress may be heavily linked to heart disease.
“Everybody knows that stress is bad for your heart…but the evidence has been scattered out over the years,” said study author, Donald Edmundson, M.D.
The news source notes that some of the studies focused on the level and frequency of stress in the subjects’ lives, while others used yes-or-no questions about stress and living. None of the participants had a history or diagnosis of heart disease prior to their respective trials, but the follow up studies, which lasted anywhere from three to 21 years, showed that those who had high levels of stress had a 27 percent greater chance of developing coronary heart disease.
Edmundson compared the increased cardiovascular risk resulting from stress to that of smoking five cigarettes a day. Reuters reports that although stress has continued to be the common culprit, there is no concrete physical evidence to solidify the claims. Some scientists believe that there’s a correlation between stress and a fluctuation in certain hormones, which may negatively affect the heart.
Demosthenes Panagiotakos M.D. told the news source that an additional factor may be that people who are stressed might be more likely to engage in less healthy activities like smoking, eating an unhealthy diet and leading a sedentary lifestyle.
To reduce stress for a healthier heart, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends engaging in 30 minutes of daily exercise, scheduling regular relaxation time, maintaining relationships with people who can provide emotional support and also getting a full night’s sleep. If you’re having trouble with your slumber you may want to take a Calmax Sleep supplement from Dr. Newton’s Naturals and maintain a regular sleep schedule throughout the week.