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How are stress and cardiovascular disease related?

The association of mental stress and cardiovascular disease prognosis is well established, and mental stress is now gaining wide recognition as a potentially modifiable, nontraditional cardiovascular disease risk factor. From studies of individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to studies of individuals exposed to mental stress by way of experimentation, stress is associated with adverse cardiac outcomes, including increased risk of coronary heart disease. This increased risk is thought to be mediated through physiological and neurohormonal changes on the vasculature that are yet to be clearly explained). Recent studies have taken this to a new level, where higher stress is linked to differences in platelet aggregation, which could affect an individual’s response to antiplatelet medications (medications which are commonly used in cardiovascular patients).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.