A new study finds that young people are prone to heart condition caused by stress. Those with stress disorder are nearly 40 percent more susceptible to develop cardiovascular disease than those in the wider population. The study is published in BMJ.
Researchers performed the data analysis for nearly 27 years on more than 100,000 people who were diagnosed with stress related disorders such as acute stress reaction and post-traumatic stress disorder. The objective of the study was to understand the association between stress and cardiovascular disease. They then compared the data with their unaffected siblings and with the data of the people in the general population who were not affected by any kind of stress disorder.
The primary outcome of the study was a diagnosis of incident cardiovascular disease or its subtypes including ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, emboli/thrombosis, hypertensive diseases, heart failure, arrhythmia/conduction disorder, and fatal cardiovascular disease.
After considering factors such as physical and mental health history, age, income, sex and other factors, researchers found that a person with a stress disorder was more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than a sibling without a stress disorder and nearly 40 percent more likely than those in the general population. They found that the risk was even higher in the first year after the diagnosis – 64 percent higher than a sibling and 71 percent higher than the general population. They also found that the link between stress and cardiovascular disease was particularly strong amongst people under 50 years of age.
Huan Song, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Iceland was the lead author of the study. Dr. Song said that, “the study was performed using data of people with a diagnosed stress disorder and was focused on people with severe stress, but people with depression and anxiety are also at a greater risk for cardiovascular illnesses.”