Can Stress Cause a Heart Attack in a Healthy Person?
When a little stress is experienced, it can motivate an individual to complete a task, meet a deadline or fulfill an obligation; however, stress related to employment difficulties or significant family issues offers no positive outcome. Chronic stress occurs when struggles continue for an extended period of time. Chronic stress can cause heart disease. Heart disease increases the likelihood of an individual experiencing a heart attack, which causes his or her risk of suffering a cardiac arrest to rise.
Evidence suggests that there are people who are sensitive to specific types of emotional stress. This emotional stress can contribute to heart disease. Furthermore, when circumstances are right, emotional stress can play a role in the development of chronic heart disease and even trigger an acute cardiac crisis. Stress in and of itself can take up to five years off of one’s lifespan and chronic stress has the ability to accelerate the aging process by 10 to 15 years.
The Purpose of Emotional Stress
Emotional stress is a protective mechanism that our ancestors used to stay alive. This type of stress causes a surge of adrenaline in the body, which prepared our distant relatives to either fight or flee. Today, we rarely actually need to physically use this fight-or-flight response; however, our genetic makeup remains the same as our ancestors. For this reason, we experience that surge of adrenaline when a stressful situation arises, but most of us cannot release the tension we feel by exploding into some type of physical activity: Instead, we bottle this tension up inside.
If these stressful situations happen often enough, the fight-or-flight reactions that are being internalized may result in cardiac problems. It seems that individuals who have yet to devise a healthy way to deal with their frustration, anger, and fear are more prone to suffering cardiovascular harm due to emotional stress.
Dealing with Emotional Stress
Avoiding all emotional stress is impossible, which is why learning how to deal with stress to reduce the impact it has on the cardiovascular system is vital. It is not the stress itself that causes the problem, it is the way we respond to the stress that determines whether or not cardiovascular damage occurs.
If you are concerned about your heart health or know that you have cardiac issues needing to be addressed, contact us today at 480-835-6100. We have six locations throughout the Tri-City area and 24 caring board-certified cardiologists available to provide you with the exceptional cardiac and vein care that you deserve.