Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stress: It should never be ignored, experts say

Date:
June 27, 2013
Source:
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale)
Summary:
Work pressure, tension at home, financial difficulties... the list of causes of stress grows longer every day. There have been several studies in the past showing that stress can have negative effects on health (cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and more). According to a new study people under stress have twice the risk of a heart attack, compared with others.

Work pressure, tension at home, financial difficulties … the list of causes of stress grows longer every day. There have been several studies in the past showing that stress can have negative effects on health (cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and more). The Inserm researchers at unit 1018, "The Epidemiology and Public Health Research Centre," working in collaboration with researchers from England and Finland have demonstrated that it is essential to be vigilant about this and to take it very seriously when people say that they are stressed, particularly if they believe that stress is affecting their health. According to the study performed by these researchers, with 7268 participants, such people have twice as much risk of a heart attack, compared with others.

These results have been published in European Heart Journal.

Today, stress is recognized as one of the main health problems. When people face a situation that is considered stressful, they may experience several physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms (anxiety, difficulty in concentrating, skin problems, migraines, etc.). Previous studies, particularly the recent studies performed within the Whitehall II cohort[1], composed of several thousand British civil servants, have already shown that the physiological changes associated with stress can have an adverse effect on health.

Herman Nabi, Inserm researcher at Unit 1018 "The Epidemiology and Public Health Research Centre," and his team went further and studied people who declared themselves to be stressed, in order to look more closely at whether there was a link between their feeling and the occurrence of coronary disease some years later.

Using a questionnaire prepared for the Whitehall II cohort, the participants were invited to answer the following question: "to what extent do you consider the stress or pressure that you have experienced in your life has an effect on your health," the participants had the following answers to choose from: "not at all," "a little," "moderately," "a lot" or "extremely."

The participants were also asked about their stress level, as well as about other factors that might affect their health, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, diet and levels of physical activity. Arterial pressure, diabetes, body mass index and socio-demographic data such as marital status, age, sex, ethnicity and socio-economic status were also taken into account.

According to the results, the participants who reported, at the start of the study, that their health was "a lot" or "extremely" affected by stress had more than twice the risk (2.12 times higher) of having or dying from a heart attack, compared with those who had not indicated any effect of stress on their health.

From a clinical point of view, these results suggest that the patient's perception of the impact of stress on their health may be highly accurate, to the extent that it can predict a health event as serious and common as coronary disease.

In addition, this study also shows that this link is not affected by differences between individuals related to biological, behavioural or psychological factors. However, capacities for dealing with stress do differ massively between individuals depending on the resources available to them, such as support from close friends and family.

According to Hermann Nabi, "the main message is that complaints from patients concerning the effect of stress on their health should not be ignored in a clinical environment, because they may indicate an increased risk of developing and dying of coronary disease. Future studies of stress should include perceptions of patients concerning the effect of stress on their health."

In the future, as Hermann Nabi emphasizes, "tests will be needed to determine whether the risk of disease can be reduced by increasing the clinical attention given to patients who complain of stress having an effect on their health."

[1] Created in 1985, the Whitehall II cohort, consisting of British civil servants, is making a major contribution to research in social epidemiology and is considered internationally to be one of the main sources of scientific knowledge concerning social determinant factors for health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H. Nabi, M. Kivimaki, G. D. Batty, M. J. Shipley, A. Britton, E. J. Brunner, J. Vahtera, C. Lemogne, A. Elbaz, A. Singh-Manoux. Increased risk of coronary heart disease among individuals reporting adverse impact of stress on their health: the Whitehall II prospective cohort study. European Heart Journal, 2013; DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/eht216

Cite This Page:

INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). "Stress: It should never be ignored, experts say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130627131839.htm>.
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). (2013, June 27). Stress: It should never be ignored, experts say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130627131839.htm
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). "Stress: It should never be ignored, experts say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130627131839.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) — The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
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