herald

Thursday 17 August 2017

Teen stress 'can lead to heart disease'

The worse a person deals with stress when young, the more likely they will develop heart disease later in life, a study has suggested.

Researchers in the UK and Sweden said that even exercise would do little to help after examining the records of more than 230,000 Swedish men born between 1952 and 1956.

They suggested that tackling stress and promoting physical fitness were both needed to help reduce heart disease.

Previous studies have shown that exposure to psychosocial stress (stress experienced by people when they perceive a threat that they feel they cannot deal with) has been identified as a risk factor for coronary heart disease as well as other issues.

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But ability to cope with stress during adolescence is less well understood and it is generally believed that being fit when young leads to a reduced risk of heart disease in later life.

But the study found that low stress resilience was linked to higher risk of heart disease, even after they adjusted the results to take into account physical fitness and other established heart disease risk factors.

They found that even good physical fitness did not seem to provide protection from heart disease among those who did not cope with stress well.

The research, led by the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Sweden's Orebro University, was published online in the journal Heart.

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