Stress increases risk of heart disease
Stress increases the risk of heart disease as much as smoking five cigarettes a day, according to a new US study.
Research carried out by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Cardiology found that those who described themselves as stressed were 27% more likely to be diagnosed or hospitalised by heart disease, or die from the condition.
Researchers said this was equivalent to the risk of having high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoking five cigarettes a day.
Stress was ranked as the most common cause of long-term employee absence in 2012 by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s recent Absence Management Survey.
Donald Edmondson, assistant professor of behavioral medicine at CUMC, said while it is generally accepted that stress is linked to heart disease, this is the first time the association between perceived stress and incidence of heart disease has been analysed.