According to a new American study, stress and anger promote the development of heart failure, a potentially fatal disease.
Between 1% and 2% of the world’s population suffers from heart failure, according to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC), approximately every 40 seconds an American will have a heart attack. Every year, 805,000 Americans have a heart attack, 605,000 of them for the first time. About 12 percent of people who have a heart attack will die from it.
Doctors speak of heart failure when the heart is no longer capable of fulfilling its role of pump, and therefore of supplying the body with blood correctly: this phenomenon is linked to a loss of contractility of the heart muscle, which can affect the right side and / or the left side of the heart.
The causes of heart failure are multiple: this “heart fatigue” can occur in particular due to a myocardial infarction, high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy or disease of the heart valves.
According to a recent study conducted by Yale University, people who are stressed, quick to anger and accustomed to negative emotions are also at increased risk of developing heart failure.
To reach this conclusion, the researchers (who published their work in the Journal of Cardiac Failure) worked with a group of volunteers: for a week, they filled out questionnaires daily to assess their stress and emotions (including understanding their anger). In parallel, echocardiograms were regularly carried out to visualize the contractions of the heart muscle.
Result? The researchers found that people who were stressed and/or often angry had, on average, poorer diastolic function — meaning their hearts had difficulty relaxing between contractions and filling with blood.
“Stress and negative emotions were already known to increase the risk of developing ischemic heart disease or cardiac arrhythmia: we now know that these factors also play a role in the development of heart failure” conclude the researchers, who encourage us therefore to better manage our stress in this difficult period. Mindful meditation, sport, yoga, art therapy, there are many choices.