Psychosocial stress increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease

Psychosocial stress increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease

Now that little by little “normality” comes after these months of confinement and the covid-19 pandemic is still present, its consequences are beginning to be seen more and more clearly. This is the case of post-traumatic stress, which has increased due to the situations experienced by the population in recent months, according to the study “El COVID 19: Impacto psicológico en los seres humanos” (“COVID 19: Psychological impact on human beings”), published in the Arbitrated Interdisciplinary Journal of Health Sciences “SALUD Y VIDA”.

Various specialists, including Dr. Gómez Doblas, head of the heart area at Vithas Xanit International hospital, warn us of the importance of keeping stress under control, since it can be the trigger for cardiovascular diseases, increasing the risk if we suffer stress continuously.

According to Dr. Gómez Doblas, “Stress is a feeling of physical or emotional tension and currently affects a high percentage of the population. The intense reactions it causes are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease”.

Furthermore, he adds that “numerous studies have shown the important role of stress in the progression of these pathologies, especially as a trigger for acute cardiovascular diseases such as a heart attack or an arrhythmia.”

Unlike other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity or cholesterol, psychosocial stress is related to numerous factors: interpersonal relationships, economic problems, employment, personal or family health, etc.

Stress also indirectly affects cardiovascular diseases or the complication of some if already suffered, through the adoption of unfavorable lifestyles: decreased self-care, alcohol or tobacco use, delays in seeking care for symptoms of acute cardiac events, reduced adherence to prescribed medicines, or decreased likelihood of adherence to lifestyle changes.

Tips for diagnosing stress

As explains Vanesa Tejón, a psychologist at Vithas Xanit International, “Stress can cause many symptoms, both physical as well as psychological and emotional. Many times those affected do not associate the signs with their own stress and it is important to recognize this disorder, which, if not controlled, can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes”.

Although it is not always easy to determine, some factors and symptoms that may indicate that we suffer from stress are, among others:

  • Tension headache, caused by muscle tension that we exert on the head, jaw, neck…
  • Bad memory.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Changes in behavior.
  • Disorders such as anxiety and/or depression
  • Changes in weight due to poor eating habits, changes in appetite, stomach problems.
  • Constant and prolonged tiredness.
  • Stiffness in the jaw and neck.
  • Insomnia or excess sleep.

And, of course, in cases of prolonged stress, the patient may experience cardiovascular and musculoskeletal problems.

How to reduce stress?

To reduce stress, there are different techniques, some based on the general population, proposing a change in lifestyle in our societies, and others based on the development of resilience or human capacity to flexibly assume borderline situations and overcome them. Other measures may be the development of self-control techniques or exercise.

Some measures we can take to reduce our stress level are the following:

  • Performing self-control and relaxation techniques.
  • Exercise practice, especially in groups, since this also provides social support. Team sports can also help.
  • Eating a good diet.
  • Sleep the necessary.
  • Try not to worry about those things that we can’t control.
  • Anticipate events that can be stressful and prepare for it in advance.
  • Set realistic goals in our lives.
  • Do leisure activities.

Finally, if you are looking for help from a specialist to treat stress and/or cardiovascular problems, remember that at Vithas Xanit Internacional you will find the best specialists. Contact us for more information or make an appointment.

Vithas hospitals are safe hospitals

Vithas’ 20 hospitals are safe hospitals for patients and professionals thanks to the implementation of strict safety protocols against covid-19. Among the measures implemented, the establishment of two different circuits stands out: one for people with symptoms compatible with covid-19, and the other for other patients.

Additionally, we supply masks and hydroalcoholic gel to all people who come to the hospital for any reason. In addition, the Group is carrying out massive virus detection tests on all personnel, who are equipped with all the necessary self-protection measures.

A security that has always been reinforced thanks to the fact that all Vithas hospitals implement the strict protocols of the Joint Commission International, world reference body that accredits patient safety and healthcare excellence.

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