Can Stress Really Trigger A Heart Attack?

People relate heart attacks to lack of exercise and bad diets. But there is important evidence that there is a third important factor – stress. Read about this new finding below. Dr. Mercola presents his valuable and vital findings.

About one in every three deaths in the US is attributed to heart disease. The most common form of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to a heart attack.

Interestingly, more heart attacks and other cardiovascular events occur on Mondays than any other day of the week. This “Monday cardiac phenomenon” has been recognized for some time, and has long been believed to be related to work stress.

Many do not realize that the most common symptom of heart disease is sudden death from a heart attack. Oftentimes, there are no prior indications of a problem; signs like chest pain or shortness of breath, for example.

Two recent studies shed light on the persistent link between stress and sudden heart attacks. In one, a group of German researchers found that as your stress level rises, so do your levels of disease-promoting white blood cells.  Co-author Dr. Matthias Nahrendorf explains:

“High levels of white blood cells may lead to progression of atherosclerosis, plaque rupture and myocardial infarction. The latter implies that a part of the heart muscle, which pumps the blood with every beat, dies off.

This may cause heart failure, either right away if the infarct is large, or later on through maladaptive processes. The heart tries to compensate for the loss of contractile muscle tissue but over time this compensation leads to a larger heart, which is weaker.”

The other study, published in the online open-access journal mBio  found yet another way for sudden stress, emotional shock, or overexertion, to trigger a heart attack.

During moments of high stress, your body releases hormones such as norepinephrine, which the researchers claim can cause the dispersal of bacterial biofilms from the walls of your arteries. This dispersal can allow plaque deposits to suddenly break loose, thereby triggering a heart attack.

Summary of Article

  • More heart attacks and other cardiovascular events occur on Mondays than any other day of the week. This “Monday cardiac phenomenon” has long been believed to be related to work stress
  • Two recent studies shed light on the persistent link between stress and sudden heart attacks
  • In one, a group of German researchers found that as your stress level rises, so do your levels of disease-promoting white blood cells. This can lead to plaque rupture and myocardial infarction
  • The other study found that stress hormones cause the dispersal of bacterial biofilms from the walls of your arteries. This dispersal can allow plaque deposits to suddenly break loose, triggering a heart attack
  • Preventing heart disease involves reducing chronic inflammation in your body. Key tools are diet, exercise, sun exposure, and grounding to the earth. Effective stress management is another important factor

You can read the Dr. Mercola’s entire informative article by clicking here.
article source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/10/stress-heart-attack.aspx
photo credit: Google Images

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