In small quantities, stress is natural and can even spur our bodies to keep us safe from harm's way. But long-term stress can damage the body, especially the heart. How much do you know about stress and its effects on this cardiac organ?
Can stress alone cause heart disease?
The relationship between stress and heart health isn't completely understood, and researchers don't know if stress is a risk factor on its own, or if it increases the risk for heart disease when combined with other factors.
Angina, or chest pain, is often a symptom of a larger heart problem, such as coronary heart disease. When fatty plaque builds up in the arteries, it restricts the amount of blood that can be carried through your heart, which results in your heart not getting enough oxygen.
Stress can contribute to which of the following?
Stress can contribute to high blood pressure and other heart problems, which may lead to heart disease if left untreated. Reducing stress through exercise and mental relaxation can help you control both temporary and chronic stress.
Which group of "fight or flight" hormones is released as a response to stress?
Released by the adrenal glands, catecholamines help your body act against a stressor. For instance, you may get an adrenaline rush from a stressful situation, but the continual release of these hormones, as seen in people with chronic stress, can damage the heart.
Which of the following is NOT a physical symptom of stress?
Even though some people who experience stress feel tired or exhausted, a slower heart rate is usually not a common symptom of stress. Instead, an increased heart rate and chest pain are more common.
According to the American Institute of Stress, people with which type of behavior are more at risk for a heart attack?
A person with Type A coronary behavior, or someone who exhibits aggressiveness, hostility, extreme competitiveness, anger, time urgency or a preoccupation with work, is more likely to be at risk for heart attacks and coronary disease.
Stress can cause:
Stress can seriously damage your heart and can cause a slew of serious - even fatal - conditions, including heart failure, heart attacks, sudden cardiac death and arrhythmias.
Is there a relationship between stress at work and heart disease?
Studies have shown a relationship between stress exposure at work and heart disease exists, but researchers aren't exactly sure which stressors have the strongest influence.
Why is long-term (chronic) stress more harmful than short-term (acute) stress?
Chronic stress is more harmful, especially since it disrupts how your body deals with short-term stress
In addition to maintaining a healthy body, what can you do to lower your stress levels and chances of developing heart disease?
Though stress reduction varies, doing what makes you feel happy and relaxed is an effective way of battling stress and the heart problems associated with it. A treatment plan with medications may be helpful additions to changing how you deal with stress, but changes in behavior are effective for most.
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