The feeling of acute stress is linked with a 27 per cent greater risk for coronary heart disease (CHD), say findings from a new meta-analysis of six studies involving nearly 120,000 people. Participants, asked about their perceived stress, scored either high or low.
Researchers then followed them for an average of 14 years to compare the number of heart attacks and CHD deaths between the two groups. CHD is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.
It is caused by a build-up of plaque in the arteries, which can lead to their hardening, or atherosclerosis. CHD is the leading cause of death in the US for men and women, killing more than 385,000 people every year, the American Journal of Cardiology reported.