Study Links the Risk of Both Heart Attack and Stroke with High-Stress Levels

New research has examined the risk of heart attack and stroke, and their connection to stress levels. Although many studies have been performed on this subject, this one was different in that stress levels were classified before cardiovascular events. Previous studies only determined stress levels in people who had already had a heart attack or stroke, which may have affected the responses.

The study published in the journal JAMA Network Open included 118,706 people from 21 countries, five of which were low-income, 12 middle income, and four high-income countries. When the study began, participants were aged 35 to 70, 50 years being the average.


Researchers first asked participants questions about perceived stress in the past year. Stress was defined as feeling irritable, nervous, or anxious because of factors at home or work. These could include being in financial difficulty or experiencing difficult events and challenging times in their lives. Stress levels were rated on a scale from zero, meaning no stress, to three, indicating severe stress.

It was found that 7.3% of the participants had been subjected to severe stress, 18.4% to moderate stress, 29.4% to low stress, and 44% with no stress. Participants who indicated severe stress were slightly younger, frequently characterized by risk factors such as abdominal obesity and smoking, and were more often in high-income countries.

After a follow-up of 10 years, 5,934 cardiovascular events in the form of stroke, heart failure, and myocardial infarction were recorded. Researchers determined that in the participants with high stress, the risk of a cardiovascular event was elevated by 22%, a heart attack by 24%, and a stroke by 30%.

Further research is needed to clarify countries where the term “stress” may be less current than in western high-income countries. However, it is clear that many different processes in the body, such as blood clotting and atherosclerosis, may be affected by stress no matter where it is in the world.

How Stress Affects The Body

It is apparent that stress can affect many different processes and parts of the body. By focusing on heart health and brain function, researchers can continue their analysis and help find relationships that could offer possible preventive measures.

For those experiencing high stress, it is vital to help keep levels low by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Getting proper vitamins and nutrients is also essential. Heart Rescue and The Smart Pill are two products that have been designed to help support and promote cardiovascular health and brain health.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.