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HHS HealthBeat (January 30, 2013)

Stress and the heart

A stressed man looks at his laptop.

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Your Heart Health

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates that people with stressful lives are more likely to develop heart disease and even die of it. At Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, Donald Edmondson reviewed 14 years of data from six studies involving nearly 120,000 people who had reported their stress levels.  

Edmondson says the risk of disease and death rose about 27 percent:

“It’s a moderate increase in risk comparable to about five extra cigarettes a day or three points of blood pressure increase.”

Edmondson suggests working things into your day that reduce stress, such as a brisk walk, yoga, or spending time with people you like.

The study in the American Journal of Cardiology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: March 20, 2013