Study: How Stress Can Cause a Heart Attack

Researchers have discovered why stress is linked to heart attacks.

Earlier this month, scientists discovered alcohol abuse was linked to heart attacks. While other researchers later found a ‘local’ bar had health benefits, Harvard Medical School students published a study correlating stress to heart attacks.

A myocardial infarction or heart attack, is a cardiovascular event that has the possibility of killing someone. With more than three million U.S. cases every year, a heart attack happens when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the heart. Without enough blood, there is less oxygen causing tissue damage and even death. Some of the treatments following a heart attack include major lifestyle changes, including reducing stress. During a new landmark study by Harvard Medical School, researchers linked brain activity to heart attacks.

In the study published in The Lancet, Dr. Ahmed Tawakol, Amornia Ishai, and their team of researchers examined the brain; this team discovered how different parts of the brain affected the cardiovascular system.

Researchers examined nearly 300 patients in a longitudinal study. Researchers found activity in the brain’s amygdala lead to an increase in bone marrow activity, inflammation of arteries, and an increased risk of heart attacks.

Ultimately, Tawakol, and Ishai explained that this is the first study to link brain activity to cardiovascular disease. In addition, researchers found how the brain’s amygdala plays a part in cardiovascular disease events.

Stories regarding the brain’s amygdala has been in the news quiet frequently lately. Earlier this month, the amygdala made headlines after researchers predicted how long humans would survive if a zombie outbreak took place. Then, researchers found emotional experiences had an impact human memory. Finally, last December scientists discovered the way humans breathe can have an impact on memory and fear.