How Wall Street Worries Take a Toll on Your Heart

Armen Hareyan's picture
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How Wall Street financial crisis and ticker shock may be taking a toll on your heart. Protect your heart from stress.

The big idea is that as stock prices go down, stress to your heart may go up--if you're the kind of person who's glued to the news and fearing gloom and doom. In several new studies, chronic worriers and those gripped by psychological stress were three to four times more likely to be diagnosed with heart problems, and have a 53 percent increased risk for high blood pressure and stroke.

Nationally known cardiologist and medical researcher Jerome E. Granato, MD, says while worrying about the economy--a situation over which you have no control--is bad for your health, being optimistic might give your heart a boost. He cites a recent study in Britain, which found that optimistic people had three times lower incidence of death from heart attacks and strokes than their pessimistic counterparts.

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Dr. Granato discusses:
How chronic stress has been linked to elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, weight gain, and substance abuse--all risk factors for heart disease.

Doctor-recommended ways to regain calm in the current economic frenzy.

Who should get tested for heart disease--and which tests and screenings are best.

Dr. Granato is Medical Director of the Coronary Care Unit of Allegheny General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Drexel College of Medicine. A prominent medical researcher and national speaker, he has been listed for several years on the prestigious "Best Doctors in America" and "America's Top Cardiologists" lists. His forthcoming book is Living with Coronary Heart Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press, Nov. 2008).

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