It’s a well-researched fact that stress raises blood pressure. But what about other cardiovascular factors, such as strokes and heart attacks?
A team of Swedish scientists decided to study further regarding that question.
And consequently, it was found that stress worsened all types of cardiovascular health. However, it was surprising to note that most of the timings were wrong.
The researchers used various Swedish population registers to identify 136,637 people diagnosed with stress disorders between 1987 and 2013, 171,314 of their siblings without such disorders, and 1,366,370 people from the general population who were unaffected by a stress disorder.
The study included the siblings because they needed to exclude the possibility that genes rather than stress disorders were responsible for cardiovascular disease.
The stress disorders studied included post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, adjustment disorder, and other stress reactions.
They consulted the Swedish National Patient Register to check which of these people ended up developing cardiovascular diseases, including ischemic heart disease (narrowed arteries), cerebrovascular disease (affecting the blood supply to the brain), emboli/thrombosis (blocked blood vessels or blood clots), hypertensive diseases, heart failure, and arrhythmia/conduction disorder (irregular heartbeat).
People affected by stress disorder were 64 percent more likely than their unaffected siblings and 71 percent more likely than other unaffected individuals to develop heart disease in the first year after their diagnoses with a stress disorder.
More than a year after the stress diagnoses, these percentages dropped to 29 and 36 percent, showing that the effect of stress was especially serious during the first year (so that’s what we meant by the timing being wrong).
They also concluded that post-traumatic stress disorder had a stronger effect on heart health than other stress-related disorders.
The person’s sex, family history of cardiovascular disease, history of psychological disorders, and co-occurring psychological disorders, such as depression had no influence on the findings.
This suggests that you should take especially good care of your heart after an extremely traumatic event like a violent attack, rape, a serious car accident, or a natural disaster.
It also shows how important it is to give yourself a break after such an event to practice as many relaxation techniques as you can fit into your daily schedule.
But stress does not just include emotional stress. It can also be physical (diseases), sensual (constant traffic noise), and mental (long-lasting mental task). All these factors can increase your stress hormone level and your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The easiest way to lower your stress hormone level is to give your body and mind something I call a “Focused Break.” And you can do that through using the simple blood pressure exercises found here…
But the most important way to protect your heart is to remove all the plaque buildup in your arteries. And the only way to do that is to cut out this ONE ingredient that you didn’t even know you were consuming…