Study Connects Stress to Heart Disease

Study Connects Stress to Heart Disease

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Ed Yeates ReportingWe already know mental stress can raise blood pressure and make our heart beat faster. But now, a new study released by the American Heart Association shows it can also trigger life-threatening arrhythmias.

This study adds more ammunition to the mind-body connection. What starts in the brain translates physically, making our heart do abnormal things.

This latest study published by the AHA shows stress alone - things like anger and frustration - can induce life threatening heart arrhythmias in people already be predisposed to the condition. The stress that causes this and other physical side effects is all around us.

Dr. David Strayer, U of U Dept. of Psychology: "And what we found is that adding a time pressure makes things worse, and makes the stressors have a much more significant and malevolent impact. It's worse."

University of Utah psychology researcher Dr. David Strayer should know. While he and his colleagues didn't published the AHA study, they did publish one that shows people who get angry and frustrated while driving can raise their blood pressure ten or fifteen points higher than normal.

So the research ammunition just keeps coming. Mental stress behind the wheel, on the job, and at home all connects with our body - more specifically the heart and cardiovascular system.

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