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Research shows that those of us who perceive a lot of stress in our lives are at higher risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems over the long term.

The latest evidence comes from a new study of siblings in Sweden. Researchers identified about 137,000 people who had been diagnosed with stress-related disorders. […] Then, the researchers identified about 171,000 of their brothers and sisters who had similar upbringings and genes — but no anxiety disorder. Next, they compared the siblings’ rates of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, cardiac arrest and blood clots, over a number of years.

The Swedes who had a stress disorder, it turns out, had significantly higher rates of heart problems compared to their siblings.

“When people have stress disorders, these [stress response] systems are being activated at all the wrong times,” Bacon says. For instance, with PTSD, “you can get very exaggerated stress responses just thinking about something that happened.”

Since we can’t wave a magic wand and make stress disappear, what are the best coping options? There’s no magic bullet, but day-to-day habits can help tamp down stress.

Source: New England Public Radio – Read or listen to full article

This story was also featured in News Medical Life Sciences