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Stress can be very dangerous for women after heart disease


Stress leads to reduced blood flow to the heart
Stress is a great physical and mental burden for us humans. Doctors often advise patients with heart disease that they urgently need to avoid stress - apparently rightly so. Researchers have now found that stress is particularly dangerous for younger women with a history of heart disease.

The researchers from the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta found in an investigation that stress poses a particularly high risk for women with previous heart disease. Younger women seem more susceptible to the negative effects of stress on our hearts. This can lead to reduced blood flow to the heart. The experts published the results of their study in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Doctors examine stress and the flow of blood to the heart
The researchers examined the data from around 700 patients. These were all between the ages of 34 and 79 years. All subjects had previously suffered from heart disease, say the doctors. Some of the participants suffered from angina pectoris (chest tightness) or had previously had a heart attack. The doctors analyzed the stress and the blood flow to the heart.

Women under the age of 50 are more likely to have reduced blood flow
During the study, the scientists found that women under 50 years of age had a reduced blood flow to the heart almost four times more often than men of the same age, explains study leader Dr. Viola Vaccarino from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. Such reduced blood flow is also referred to medically as myocardial ischemia. The disease increases the likelihood of developing a heart attack, the experts add.

Younger women have poorer blood flow results after a heart attack
Younger women generally appear to be more susceptible to the effects of stress on the heart, says Dr. Viola Vaccarino. Doctors have known for a long time that younger women have poorer blood flow results after a heart attack. However, there has been no complete explanation for this effect. The results of the new study could now provide more clarity, the scientists add.

Subjects must give a speech in front of an audience
The study asked participants to give a speech in front of an audience. The topic of the speech was chosen by the scientists. The audience should under no circumstances respond positively to the speech, the authors explain. This increased the stress for the speakers.

No differences were found in older women and men
Studies before and after the speeches showed that the flow of blood to the heart was significantly reduced in younger women compared to men of the same age, says Dr. Vaccarino. These differences could not be found in women and men of older age.

A third of the women under 50 examined with reduced blood flow
The reduced blood flow found occurred in a third of the women under 50 years of age. Only eight percent of men in this age group suffered from the same problem. The new data clearly indicate that stress is a particularly important factor for women with heart disease, explains Dr. Stress could explain the increased risk of young women. However, other factors also have an impact, such as the severity of the previous heart disease.

Many women under the age of 50 are routinely stressed
Many women today try to reconcile work, family and financial responsibility. As a result, many women under the age of 50 are routinely stressed, the experts explain. According to the medical experts, younger women and middle-aged women with heart disease should receive additional support for coping with stress.

Stress also reduces blood flow in people without a heart attack
If women want to avoid heart disease, they should learn to cope better with their stress. The results of the study also show that the same pattern of stress and blood flow also applies to people without a previous heart attack, explains Dr. Certain exercises could reduce the risk of depression, psychological stress and heart disease at the same time. Performing such exercises can protect the heart and mental health at the same time, adds Dr. Vaccarino added. (as)

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Video: Medication of Heart Failure Cardiology. Lecturio (December 2021).