Posted on Jul 26, 2013, 6 a.m.
People who believe stress adversely affects their health may be at increased risk of a cardiac event.
In that the response to stress can vary greatly between individuals, a team of French researchers explored whether individuals who report that stress adversely affects their health are at increased risk for physical ailment, specifically – coronary heart disease (CHD). Hermann Nabi, from INSERM (France), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 7268 men and women, mean age 49.5 years, enrolled in the Whitehall II prospective cohort study, a study involving civil servants between ages 35 to 55 in 20 London-based government departments. Over 18 years of follow-up, there were 352 coronary deaths or first non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI) events. After adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, participants who reported at baseline that stress has affected their health ‘a lot or extremely’ had a 2.12 times higher risk of coronary death or incident non-fatal MI, as compared to those who didn't believe stress was affecting their health. The study authors conclude that: “the perception that stress affects health, different from perceived stress levels, was associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.”
Hermann Nabi, Mika Kivimäki, G. David Batty, Martin J. Shipley, Annie Britton, Archana Singh-Manoux, et al. “Increased risk of coronary heart disease among individuals reporting adverse impact of stress on their health: the Whitehall II prospective cohort study.” Eur Heart J., June 26, 2013.