Just broken heart, loss of a job or difficult family situation: a recent study conducted in 32 countries shows that psychosocial and psychological stress has direct consequences on our cardiovascular health, and increases the risk of stroke.
Ucan a broken heart cause a stroke? Yes, or at least strongly contribute to it. Although the risk factors for stroke are known and numerous – alcohol, obesity, tobacco, etc. –, the stress linked to the loss of a loved one, a job or even a breakup could be risk factors. risk, according to the Irish INTERSTROKE study, published on December 9 in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open.
By analyzing fifteen years of data, researchers from the University of Galway have managed to establish that any stressful event that occurs in our life greatly increases the risk of stroke.
Work-related stress doubles the risk of stroke
Since 2007, Dr. Catriona Reddin’s team has therefore collected and studied data on the level of stress over 26 000 people in 32 different countries – in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa or the Middle East – by asking them various questions concerning their “family, professional and economic situation, and recent events that have marked their daily lives”. The scientists then assessed the “psychosocial and psychological stress of the participants who had suffered a stroke”, and all of them had experienced episodes of stress “at home, at workrelating to the couple or the family”.
Thus, the study established that stress related to work, personal life or to major events such as a divorce or family conflict increased the risk of stroke by 17 %, and even by 31% when a person experiences at least two particularly stressful events in their lifetime, reports Medical News. Work-related stress is the most important factor, increasing the risk of ischemic stroke (due to a blood clot) by two and increasing the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (due to bleeding into the brain tissue) by five.
Less risk in people who are in control
On the other hand, having control over a situation would reduce stress, and logically the risk of stroke. Dr Reddin, in charge of the study, specifies in a press release that “among people who reported severe household stress, the increased risk of stroke was lower in those who felt that what happens in life is determined by factors they control”, whether it is his personal or professional life, specifies the media Why Doctor.
On the same subject ⋙ Christmas stressing you out? Here’s how to overcome your holiday anxiety
⋙ How to practice “cardiac coherence”, this breathing technique that quickly dispels stress?
Similarly, the researchers observed that “the increased risk of stroke was lower among people who believe have control what’s going on in the officein most situations, compared to those who felt they had little control over their professional life”.
Know how to manage stress and learn to breathe
The European Society of Cardiology and the American Heart Association both recommend set up a stress management through techniques of relaxationas reported JAMA Network Open in the conclusions of his study. However, Dr. Reddin’s team returns to the difficulty of implementing these techniques in the most disadvantaged people.
To reduce stress at work, Health Magazine recommends a few techniques to apply on a daily basis, such as take regular breaks – without thinking about work! – or stretch and walk for a few minutes to release muscle tension.
Of course, if you can manage to keep control over a problem you encounter at work, it is more difficult to manage a romantic situation or the loss of a loved one. Integrating relaxation techniques as advised by the European Society of Cardiology can help you have a semblance of control over your stress level and thus reduce health risks.
Read also ⋙ Stress, anxiety: the “ROMO”, this new unexpected trend that is good for our mental health
⋙ Gen Z refuses stress at work (and they are right)
⋙ Mental health: why “recovery time” outside of work helps reduce stress