Dr Daniel Brotman, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, USA and colleagues studied relevant literature published between 1990 and 2006 to prepare the Review. They say: “Since antiquity, people have been intuitively aware of the connection between the heart and emotional stress.”
They examine the effect of stress on the sympathetic nervous system, stress physiology, and cardiovascular effects of stress, saying: “Acute physical stressors such as surgery, trauma, and intense physical exertion are well-known triggers of cardiovascular events. Emotional stressors are increasingly recognised as precipitants of such events.” They refer to an earthquake in Los Angeles in 1994, in which the number of cardiac deaths in the area in individuals who did not undergo direct physical trauma or increased physical exertion was two to five times the normal rate.
Also studied in the Review are subacute and chronic stressors. Major life changes are associated with psychological/emotional adjustment can increase the risk of cardiac events – eg. in the months following the death of a spouse, mortality from all causes, particularly cardiovascular ones, is increased. The authors say: “Similarly, the fear in the USA subsequent to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001 resulted in a rate of defibrillator firings of two to three times normal during the month after the event.”
The authors look at why individuals experience different responses to stress, and why cardiovascular events related to stress are more prevalent in the early morning than at other times – the reasons for this may include daily fluctuations in stress hormones and endothelial dysfunction.
They also comment on the lack of evidence to support the efficacy of behavioural and psychological stress reduction in the prevention of cardiac events. Such techniques are currently being studied in controlled clinical trials.
In conclusion, the authors say that stress is clearly an important – and potentially modifiable – risk factor for acute and chronic adverse cardiovascular disorders, and that effective medications are already in use. They say: “Ample evidence exists for a strong and consistent association acute and chronic psychological stress with cardiovascular risk factors….physicians should remain cognisant of the cardiovascular risk associated with chronic mental illness and psychological stressors, should take seriously patient symptoms (such as chest pain) which arise in conjunction with negative emotions, and should help their patients to alleviate unnecessary psychological strain, by advising that a healthy lifestyle should include stress reduction, anger management, and treatment of mental illness.”
Tony Kirby | alfa
New flexible, transparent, wearable biopatch, improves cellular observation, drug delivery
12.11.2018 | Purdue University
Exosomes 'swarm' to protect against bacteria inhaled through the nose
12.11.2018 | Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.
Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
12.11.2018 | Life Sciences
12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences
12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy