Stress harder on young women's hearts
Young women need to be aware of the impact that stress has on their hearts, according to a new study at Emory University's School of Public Health. The researchers found that it can have a greater impact on their hearts than on older women and on men of all ages.
Researchers took 534 patients with coronary heart disease ages 38 to 79 and evaluated stress levels by doing a mental stress and physical stress test while monitoring their hearts.The scientists analyzed any reduction in blood flow during these stress tests.
They found significant differences in men and women, especially young women. Women under the age of 55 showed a reduction in blood flow to the heart that was three times that of men the same age. Women and men ages 56 to 64 showed the same difference, albeit smaller, and people 65 and older showed no gender differences. There were no significant changes when participants underwent a physical stress test.
These findings suggest that young women may be most vulnerable to the risks of heart disease related to emotional and mental stress. The researchers said that it's important that doctors be aware of this impact of stress on young women and work with them to find ways to reduce it.