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Can Stress Cause a Heart Attack?

Can Stress Cause a Heart Attack?

Another possible issue linked to stress is heart disease. Stress causes high blood pressure, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke. Stress may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, as do obesity, smoking, and inactivity. Our board-certified cardiologist, Dr. Kaushal Tamboli treats cardiovascular diseases at Cardiovascular Medical Associates. For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Downey, CA, and surrounding areas.

Can Stress Cause a Heart Attack? | Cardiovascular Medical Associates
Can Stress Cause a Heart Attack? | Cardiovascular Medical Associates

Table of Contents:

What is the relation between stress and heart attacks?
How do you help manage stress at Cardiovascular Medical Associates?
What should I do when I am stressed?

What is the relation between stress and heart attacks?


When a person experiences stress, whether it be acute or chronic, the body responds by releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones temporarily elevate blood pressure and heart rate. This is what we call a “fight or flight” response. While this response is necessary, it can have detrimental effects on cardiovascular health if it occurs often or for prolonged periods.

As chronic stress is associated with unhealthy coping mechanisms such as overeating, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption, it is a risk factor for heart disease. Furthermore, stress can contribute to the development of various conditions, such as hypertension, anxiety disorders, or diabetes. This further increases the risk of experiencing a heart attack.

While stress on its own does not directly cause heart attacks, its long-term effects on the body significantly elevate the risk of cardiovascular events. Therefore, managing stress through healthy lifestyle choices, relaxation techniques, and seeking support from an expert is essential for maintaining cardiovascular health. If you are often stressed, it’s important to consult a doctor on how to reduce the likelihood of experiencing a heart attack.

How do you help manage stress at Cardiovascular Medical Associates?


We understand the far-reaching effects that stress can have on your health. We offer comprehensive care to help you manage your stress and improve your cardiovascular health and overall wellness.

When you work with one of our experienced professionals, you will receive a thorough and personalized stress-management plan that considers your unique needs and preferences. Our experts will help you identify sources of stress in your life, whether they stem from work, relationships, your lifestyle, or certain underlying health conditions. By understanding these stressors, the healthcare professional will target interventions to help you effectively cope and reduce your stress levels to support your cardiovascular health.

At Cardiovascular Medical Associates, we prioritize a holistic approach to patient care that addresses the many factors that can influence cardiovascular wellness, including stress and associated coping mechanisms. Through personalized interventions, lifestyle modifications, and guidance and support, we can help you manage your stress and safeguard your heart health.

What should I do when I am stressed?


If you are affected by stress often, it’s essential to use healthy coping mechanisms to mitigate the impact it can have on your wellness. Some of the strategies that you can use to alleviate stress include:

Deep breathing – When you’re feeling stressed, deep breathing techniques can help you relax quickly. There are various deep breathing methods you can try, such as diaphragmatic breathing or box breathing.

Physical activity – By regularly exercising, you can alleviate stress. Whether you opt for going for a brisk walk, cycling, swimming, or practicing pilates or yoga, it’s essential to find activities that you enjoy and make them a consistent part of your routine.

Journaling – An effective way to process and relieve stress is by journaling your thoughts and feelings. Writing can help you gain clarity, identify patterns in your stress, and gain insights into your triggers.

Meditation and mindfulness – By setting time aside each day to meditate or practice other relaxation techniques, you can mitigate the effects of stress.

Get enough rest – If you are not getting enough sleep, stress will affect you more intensely than when you are well-rested. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to get between 7 and 9 hours of quality sleep each night. You should prioritize a consistent sleep schedule by setting a regular bedtime.

Progressive muscle relaxation – With this technique, you can release physical tension and stress to help you relax. Many people use this method to help themselves relax before bed.

Seek social support – It’s important not to isolate yourself during times of stress. You should reach out to family, friends, and support groups to gain validation, perspective, and guidance during challenging times in your life.

If you have difficulty managing your stress or you notice it taking a toll on your wellness, it’s important to seek professional support. The team at Cardiovascular Medical Associates can help you understand your stressors and manage them in a healthy way to protect your cardiovascular health. For more information, contact us and book an appointment. We serve patients from Downey CA, Norwalk CA, Lynwood CA, Cerritos CA, Lakewood CA, Whittier CA, and surrounding areas.