Stress may increase smoking habits

10:38 am Health Care

Stress increases the risk of heart attack by pushing people toward bad habits.

A British study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that people with psychological stress had a 50 percent increased risk of a cardiovascular disease event over the follow–up period.

The reasons were higher smoking rates and low exercise levels of individuals who were stressed.

In the study over a seven year follow–up period, incidence of cardiovascular events –– heart attacks, stroke, bypass surgery and the like –– was 50 percent higher among the people with a high level of depression and anxiety when compared to happier people. Smoking and lack of physical activity explained about 63 percent of the increase, with smoking alone responsible for 41 percent.

Alcohol intake explained less than 2 percent of the increase, with high blood pressure assigned 13 percent of the blame.

All such patients should be treated with combined physiological approaches with intensive lifestyle changes to reduce modifiable risk

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