Interesting new study analyzes the effects of stress on heart health

Eugene Adams
Photo by Ali Hajiluyi on Unsplash

According to the CDC, the leading cause of death in 2020 was heart disease. Heart disease killed significantly more people than Covid-19: 696,962 compared to 350,831.

This is nothing new; heart disease was the leading killer of Americans in 2019 also.

The behavioral risk factors for heart disease are pretty well known.

  • Eating a diet high in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol
  • Not getting enough physical activity
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Tobacco use

But what about stress?

Stress doesn’t seem to get talked about much when it comes to lowering our risk of heart disease. It might be time for that to change.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. Please consult your doctor if you have any medical questions.

New Study

A new study, published in November in JAMA, had some interesting results. The study looked at the outcomes of 918 patients that had underlying heart disease to see how their bodies would react to physical and mental stress.

Participants who suffered more mental stress had worse health outcomes than those with physical stress. Mental stress increased the risk of suffering a nonfatal heart attack or dying of cardiovascular disease.

Tips to Reduce Stress

It’s not all bad news, though. Thankfully, there are many simple ways to combat stress.

Here are a couple of stress management tips from the Mayo Clinic.

  • Get Active
  • Eat a Healthy Diet
  • Avoid Unhealthy habits
  • Meditate
  • Laugh More
  • Get Enough Sleep

Final Thoughts

Covid brought a new focus on public health, but it’s not the only health problem out there. Hopefully, other health issues will get attention also.

We can’t eradicate heart disease, but some simple changes can help. We can start by managing stress.

Thankfully, most stress management tips are already well known. A lack of sleep is generally known to be bad for you. Also, most people know they should be active and eat a healthy diet.

A few small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in people’s health.

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Certified Personal Trainer | Certified ESL Teacher |I mostly write about all things Southern California, but I also cover national topics.

Los Angeles, CA

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