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Stress really CAN cause heart attacks, say researchers


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Stress really CAN cause heart attacks, say researchers



By Mail On Sunday Reporter

Last updated at 3:09 AM on 17th January 2010




article-1243852-0083E1CF1000044C-390_233x335.jpg Risk: Stressed people are twice as likely to have furred arteries


Getting stressed really is bad for your heart, according to new research.

For years, stress has been linked to heart attacks and other heart complaints but with very little medical evidence to back it up.

Now a major trial by doctors at University College London has proved for the first time that people who get stressed are also likely to have heart disease.

The study involved 514 men and women, with an average age of 62. None had signs of heart disease.

Each underwent stress tests and then levels of cortisol - a chemical produced by the body at times of stress and which causes arteries to narrow - were measured. Their arteries were also scanned for any signs of furring and narrowing.

Those people who were stressed by the tests were twice as likely to have furred arteries as those who remained calm, the study in the European Heart Journal found.

Cardiologist Professor Avijit Lahiri said: 'This study shows a clear-cut relationship between stress and silent coronary artery disease. This is the first clear proof.'

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