Friday, December 30, 2022
A new study warns that work stress and financial concerns can increase the risk of stroke or heart attack by up to 30%.
And a team of Swedish researchers linked the risk of cardiovascular disease to high levels of stress, studying an international sample of more than 100,000 people, according to Russia Today.
Experts can’t definitively explain the link they’ve found, or even whether high stress levels are the cause of cardiovascular disease.
However, previous studies suggest that high cortisol levels caused by long-term stress can raise blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
Study author Annika Rosengren, professor of medicine at the University of Gothenburg, said: “It is unclear what causes the higher risk of cardiovascular disease in people who experience severe stress. many different processes in the body, such as atherosclerosis and blood clotting, can be affected by stress.”
“If we want to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease globally, we need to consider stress as another modifiable risk factor.”
Cardiovascular disease is a term that refers to all types of diseases that affect the heart or blood vessels, including coronary heart disease (clogged arteries), which can cause heart attacks, strokes, etc.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death worldwide, claiming an estimated 17.9 million lives each year.
This new research was based on data collected between January 2003 and March 2021 as part of the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study.
During this period, 5934 cardiovascular events were recorded in the form of myocardial infarction, stroke or heart failure.
More than 200,000 participants participated in PURE, but the new research focused on 118,706 participants with no history of cardiovascular disease.
Participants came from 21 countries, four high-income countries (including Canada, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates), 12 middle-income countries (including Brazil, Poland and South Africa) and five low-income countries. income (including India, Pakistan and Zimbabwe).
Large Western countries, including the UK and the US, and densely populated countries such as China, Russia and Japan were not part of the samples.
The age of the participants, men and women, ranged from 35 to 70 years.
First, they were asked about perceived stress over the past year and rated on a scale of zero (no stress) to three (extreme stress).
During the study, “stress” was defined as feeling tense, irritable, or anxious due to factors at work or home, or exposure to financial hardship, or exposure to difficult events and difficult times in their lives.
The results revealed that 7.3% were exposed to severe stress, 18.4% were exposed to moderate stress, 29.4% were exposed to low stress and 44% were not exposed to psychological stress.
Highly stressed people were slightly younger and had more frequent risk factors such as smoking or abdominal obesity, more often than in high-income countries.
For highly stressed participants, the risk of some form of cardiovascular disease increased by 22%, heart attack by 24% and stroke by 30%.
These risks were high even after adjusting for differences in risk factors between high and low stress people.
A highlight of the new paper, which was published in the journal JAMA Network Open, is that stress levels were assessed before cardiovascular events, according to the team.
However, the study could not determine whether stress has a more acute or chronic effect, or whether its effect differs between income groups in the same country.
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