Latest Issue of Science News


A link between emotional stress and heart attacks

The biological events linking emotional stress and heart attack are poorly understood. Researchers now find that in some people with heart disease, a stressful event precipitates changes in blood components and flow that may trigger a heart attack.

Scientists identified 34 men who had recovered from heart attacks that occurred an average of 15 months earlier. Fourteen had experienced emotional stress, such as arguments with neighbors or sadness about a sick or deceased relative, less than 2 hours before their heart attacks, says Andrew Steptoe, a psychologist at University College London. The other 20 men reported no such stress just before their heart attacks.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.