Stress can have negative effect on heart's health - expert
As Heart Awareness Month is commemorated during the month of September, cardiologists urged people to take on more healthier lifestyles that included eating healthier, regular exercise and not smoking.
CAPE TOWN - Medical experts said that stress could lead to high-risk behaviour, which in turn had a negative effect on cardiovascular health.
People who were stressed tended to eat more junk food, exercised less and might use smoking as a means to "blow off steam".
As Heart Awareness Month is commemorated during the month of September, cardiologists urged people to take on healthier lifestyles that included eating healthier, regular exercise and not smoking.
Cardiologist at Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital, Dr Annari van Rensburg, said that stress could lead result in a condition known as stress cardiomyopathy, also known as ‘broken heart syndrome’.
"When you have an event that you interpret as very stressful, your body secretes a lot of stress hormones and that can cause transient stunning of your heart muscle due to the release of the hormone and its a transient but significant impairment of your heart muscle."
Van Rensburg said that people should also be aware of other risk factors, like a family history of heart attacks.
"That means having your blood pressure checked, sugar checked and cholesterol checked, ideally on a yearly basis, and then if necessary get treatment for those diseases."