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Negative Life Events Increase Heart Disease Risk in Women

| April 30, 2015 Comment

Negative Life Events Increase Heart Disease Risk in Women – Psychological stress associated with traumatic events in life, such as losing a family member, losing a job, or financial troubles can increase the risk of heart attacks and heart disease in women who are middle-aged and older.

Researchers studied data on 26,763 women, with an average age of 56, who participated in the national Women’s Health study and answered questions about events like being fired from a job, legal problems, unemployment, marital infidelity, financial strain, death of a loved one, and life-threatening injuries or illness to themselves or a loved one and were then followed up for an average of nine years.

Researchers found that no matter what their socieconomic status and other heart disease risk factors, the chances of a heart attack increased by over 65% in these women. When they looked at financial stress alone, they found that the risk was twice as much when compared to women who were financially secure. They also found that lack of social support during such traumatic events increased the risk of heart attacks and heart disease.

According to the Michelle A. Albert, senior author of the study, biologically, psychological stress can increase inflammation and cortisol levels in the body, and lead to heart disease.


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