When you get stressed out, your heart feels it. You may think it’s common knowledge that blood pressure rises with stress. You can feel it, after all. But it might not go away.
A new study published in Hypertension indicates that people who feel a lot of stress are at a higher risk of going on to develop hypertension and other heart issues.
Researchers found that adults with normal blood pressure, but higher levels of stress hormones, were more likely to end up with high blood pressure in six or seven years than their less-stressed counterparts.
To determine stress hormone levels, participants in a larger study submitted urine tests for examination. Stress hormones norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine, and cortisol are all excreted in urine.
Participants were taking place in a larger study on atherosclerosis. This new research looked at more than 400 people, aged 48-87, that were followed for 12-14 years. The team found that after about 6.5 years, every doubling of the stress hormones was associated with up to 31-percent higher risk for high blood pressure.
After 11 years, doubling of cortisol was linked to a 90 percent increased risk of a cardiovascular event or stroke.
Life stressors affect everyone. Money, work, family, and the news can all contribute to stressors. But an inability to handle them may do more damage than you think.
Your body is not designed to be in constant or repeated responses to stress. Finding ways to curb stress, like mindfulness, meditation, exercise, talk therapy, tai chi, yoga, or even something like talking to loved ones can help.
According to this research, your brain may affect the long-term health of your heart. Try calming your nerves to lower the risk of high blood pressure and other heart-related troubles.