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What stressors are associated with heart disease?

Evidence suggests that stress is a risk factor for heart disease, though researchers are not yet sure whether stress on its own contributes to disease, or whether stress contributes to risk factors such as poor diet. Stress can be caused by anything that requires you to change or respond to your environment. The things that make you feel stressed are called stressors.
Studies have revealed several major stressors that are associated with an increase in heart disease risk. They include:
  • job or financial strains
  • marital strain or divorce
  • social isolation, including loss of a loved one and depression 
  • personality traits, such as type A “perfectionist” personality, anger and hostility, and anxiety
  • a pessimistic outlook 
Managing your stress is one area of your heart health where you can work to lower your heart disease risk. Your physician, therapist, or other qualified medical professional can help you identify stress management techniques that work for you.

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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.