Until recently, stress has only been considered as a risk factor for heart attack. A new study, however, has established a link between chronic stress and an increased risk for stroke.Stroke is considered a lifestyle disease, which is a diseases that appear to increase in frequency as countries become more industrialized and people live longer.
Put your feet up. Loosen up. Chill out. These are all excellent advice, especially because findings of a new research reveal that being a hostile, an aggressive, a quick-tempered, and/or an impatient person (generally known as having a Type A personality) can make one twice as likely to have a stroke than a person who is a more laid-back. Additionally, being chronically stressed increases stroke risk nearly four times.
The study, published last August in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, involved 300 people, who were randomly selected and did not have any personal history of stroke, and 150 people who had previously suffered from strokes. All the participants that were chosen for the study were relatively younger than the typical stroke patient to ensure that they were less likely to have other health issues common to older stroke patients and that have also been associated with stroke risk.
In addition to assessing other known risk factors for stroke, the research team from Spain also asked the participants about other lifestyle factors and stressors that they are constantly exposed to and which can contribute to an increased risk for stroke and heart attack.
From their assessment, the team found that: chronic stress induced by a major life event that occurred in the last eight months significantly increased stroke risk; having a Type A personality, drinking at least two energy drinks daily, and being a smoker or having a history of smoking increase stroke risk two-fold; and experiencing excessive sleepiness during the day and having a heart rhythm disorder can increase stroke risk three-fold.
Rafael Ortiz, MD, director for the Center for Stroke and Neuro-Endovascular Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, says these findings give doctors “another reason to counsel patients with these risk factors to try and reduce the stress in their lives.”
However, director for the Duke Stroke Center at Duke University Medical Center, Larry B. Goldstein, MD, points out that living a stress-free life is good for everybody but living in the real world, this is easier said than done. He adds, “Showing an association is not the same thing as showing causality” even if numerous studies have shown that certain lifestyle factors can contribute to stroke risk.
Via – Medicinenet.com