Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Extreme Exertion, Emotion Can Spark Repeat Heart Attacks

Date:
March 22, 2005
Source:
Center For The Advancement Of Health
Summary:
Compelling evidence indicates that in people with a history of heart disease, physical exertion and emotional stress can trigger heart attacks, some of them fatal.

Compelling evidence indicates that in people with a history of heart disease, physical exertion and emotional stress can trigger heart attacks, some of them fatal.

Authors Philip Strike and Andrew Steptoe of University College London point out that the triggers for heart attacks may be quite different from the factors that lead to development of coronary heart disease over the long term, such as cigarette smoking, lack of exercise, work stress, social isolation, anxiety and depression.

The review notes that "physical exertion has an apparently paradoxic association with triggering" severe chest pain, heart attack or sudden death. Physically fit people enjoy a reduced risk of heart attacks, while inactive cardiac patients who suddenly engage in vigorous activity may do so at their peril.

The findings come from a review published in the current issue of Psychosomatic Medicine of dozens of studies done between 1970 and 2004.

In one study, people who exercised rarely were nearly seven times more likely to suffer a heart attack after strenuous exertion than those who exercised more than three times a week. Nevertheless, point out the authors, the absolute risk of cardiac events after any single bout of activity remains less than one in a million, including sexual activity, where there is also a slightly elevated risk for heart patients.

Because strong social support and marital relationships promote physical well-being, "My view is that it is much more important for people to maintain good personal and sexual relationships than it is to worry about this small increase in risk," Steptoe says."

Emotional distress, along with natural disasters, war and sporting events may also trigger heart attacks in vulnerable individuals, according to the review.

"The evidence of triggering by physical exertion and emotional stress is compelling," the authors observe. Furthermore, they note, "It is likely that triggers are more potent when acting in combination or when they are present at particular times of day."

Nevertheless, Strike and Steptoe also cautioned that results are often collected by asking patients or survivors to compare normal activity with what they did immediately before the heart attack.

Such reports are "susceptible to memory loss, social acceptability bias and to patients' private beliefs about the causes of heart disease," the authors say. Also, some apparent triggers may actually be symptoms, rather than causes, of the earliest stages of a heart attack.

Steptoe believes the review has important implications for clinicians. "Physicians and cardiologists need to talk to patients with ACS (acute coronary syndromes) about their experiences in the hours leading up to the cardiac event," he says. For example, if a heart attack occurs after vigorous exertion, the patient may be fearful of future exercise. "Patients need to realize that they would still benefit greatly from regular physical activity."

Evidence linking various psychosocial factors with coronary artery disease has grown so strong that the Journal of the American College of Cardiology recently featured an article on the emerging field of "behavioral cardiology."

Lead author Dr. Alan Rozanski, of St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center and Columbia University in New York, says "The real battlefield has become 'What should cardiologists do with this information?' given that there are no guidelines for integrating the management of psychological factors into cardiac practice."

He and coauthors recommend that, for now, cardiac specialists screen for psychosocial issues, recognize that some of these issues can be managed within cardiac practice and consider referring patients with severe psychological issues to appropriate specialists.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center For The Advancement Of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Extreme Exertion, Emotion Can Spark Repeat Heart Attacks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050322134150.htm>.
Center For The Advancement Of Health. (2005, March 22). Extreme Exertion, Emotion Can Spark Repeat Heart Attacks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050322134150.htm
Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Extreme Exertion, Emotion Can Spark Repeat Heart Attacks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050322134150.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins