Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Stress May Make Recovery From Heart Attack Harder for Younger Women


Study found women were prone to greater levels of stress than men

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- When younger people have heart attacks, stress may lead to a worse recovery. This problem may be of particular concern among women, a new study suggests.

Although stress affects both men and women, researchers found that women had higher levels of stress than men. Those higher stress levels may have played a role in their worse recovery in the month after suffering a heart attack. Women had more chest pain, poorer quality of life and worse overall health than men, the researchers found.

"People need to be aware of the adverse impact on health of mental stress, and in this particular case, it may affect recovery after heart attack," said lead author Xiao Xu, an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine.

"Also, younger women experience greater stress than younger men. This may put women at higher risk for poor recovery," she said.

Women tend to have higher stress than men for many reasons, Xu said. "For example, they usually have less financial resources and are often faced with greater demand for family care," she said.

While this study found a link between high stress levels and a worse outcome soon after a heart attack, it wasn't designed to prove whether or not stress was the direct cause of the poorer outcome.

The report was published online Feb. 9 in the journal Circulation.

For the study, Xu and her colleagues collected data on about 2,400 women and approximately 1,200 men ages 18 to 55 who had a heart attack. The study participants were from more than 100 hospitals in the United States, Spain and Australia.

Women in the study were more likely to have other medical problems, including diabetes, chronic lung disease, kidney problems, depression and cancer, as well as a history of heart problems and stroke.

To measure the patients' level of stress, researchers used a 14-item scale that indicated how much people felt their lives were uncontrollable and overloaded during the past month. Women were more likely to report stress over family issues. Men were more likely to be concerned about financial problems, according to the study.

source : Stress May Make Recovery From Heart Attack Harder for Younger Women

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