Taxing Your Heart

Stress — you know it’s unhealthy, but for many it’s part of everyday life. Now, through a study linking mental stress to heart disease, doctors are learning just how brutal stress can be on the human heart.

It’s tax season again. But crunching those numbers may do more than just lighten your wallet. The stress could be taxing to your health.

John, taxpayer:
“Sending a large amount of money in any one day to any government is stressful.”

Scientists have studied the impact of mental stress on a heart for many years.

There’s a body of literature that dates back to the late seventies, early eighties and even before that, suggesting that mental stress plays a role in cardiac events.

Now a study may have an answer to why.

Researchers found as patients’ stress levels go up, their blood vessels constrict and blood pressure rises. There is also an increase in blood clots.

Over a long period of time, all these conditions could lead to a risk of coronary artery disease and heart attacks.

This is only part of the answer. More research is needed to see how mental stress triggers these conditions. Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio speculate that heightened blood clot levels are a hormonal response to stress.

However it happens, to stay healthy, people need to reduce the amount of stress in their lives… even during tax season.

When it’s not possible to avoid stressful situations at work or home, doctors suggest practicing relaxation techniques or meditation.

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