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Person’s reaction to stress determines his overall health

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New York: The way a person reacts to stressful events in life holds greater importance in terms of health as compared to the frequency with which one encounters it.

According to the researchers, the more negatively an individual perceives and reacts to a situation the more he/she may be at risk of developing heart disease.

The team wanted to find out whether daily stress and heart rate variability, a measure of autonomic regulation of the heart, are linked.

A potential pathway that links stress to future heart disease is a dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system- a case of a person’s normally self-regulated nervous system getting off track.

“Higher heart rate variability is better for health as it reflects the capacity to respond to challenges,” said Nancy L Sin from Pennsylvania State University.

“People with lower heart rate variability have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death,” Sin added in the paper published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

Depression and major stressful events are known to be harmful to health, but less attention has been paid to the health consequences of frustrations and hassles in everyday life.

The team analysed the data collected from 909 participants between the ages of 35 and 85, including daily telephone interviews over eight consecutive days and the results from an electrocardiogram.

During daily phone interviews, participants were asked to report the stressful events as well as negative emotions they had experienced that day.

The researchers found that participants who reported a lot of stressful events in their lives were not necessarily those who had lower heart rate variability.

No matter how many or how few stressful events a person faces, it was those who perceived the events as more stressful or who experienced a greater spike in negative emotions had lower heart rate variability- meaning these people may be at a higher risk for heart disease, the authors noted. (IANS)

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Heart Attack Symptoms In Women Often Misinterpreted

The research paper, published in the journal Circulation, examined the relationship between gender, symptoms, perception of symptoms, and care-seeking among patients

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heart attack
Women were also more likely to perceive their symptoms as stress or anxiety, and were more likely than men to report that their healthcare providers did not think that their symptoms were heart-related. Pexels

Young women who report heart attack symptoms such as indigestion, shortness of breath, palpitations or pain in the jaw, neck, or arms, were more likely than men to have them dismissed by their doctors as not heart related, raising their risk of death than similarly aged men, finds a new study.

Previous studies have reported that women were less likely to present with chest pain for acute myocardial infarction — commonly known as a heart attack — but more likely to report a wider variety of symptoms and also more likely to die in a hospital from the disease.

“When young women with multiple risk factors visit their doctor with any chest discomfort or other symptoms that may be associated with ischemic heart disease”, doctors should treat them appropriately, said Gail D’Onofrio from the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH).

ALSO READ: 4 Ways to Beat the Risk of Heart Attack in your 30s

The research paper, published in the journal Circulation, examined the relationship between gender, symptoms, perception of symptoms, and care-seeking among patients (2,009 women and 976 men) who were 55 years and younger and were hospitalized for heart attack.

heart attack
The analysis showed that the majority of both men and women reported chest pain, pressure, tightness, or discomfort as their main heart attack symptoms. Pexels

 

Yet, women were more likely than men to report other associated symptoms of heart attack, such as indigestion, shortness of breath, palpitations or pain in the jaw, neck, or arms.

ALSO READ: Memory of a heart attack gets stored in genes through epigenetic changes

Women were also more likely to perceive their symptoms as stress or anxiety, and were more likely than men to report that their healthcare providers did not think that their symptoms were heart-related, the researchers said.

“Although chest pain was the most common symptom for young women and men, the presentation of chest pain within the context of multiple symptoms may influence the prompt recognition of heart disease for these young patients,” said Judith H. Lichtman, associate professor at the YSPH. (IANS)

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