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Heart Disease Stress May Raise Cholesterol Levels in Healthy Person

       Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death around the world. Around 12 million people across the globe die annually due to cardiovascular diseases. There are different forms of cardiovascular diseases including heart attack, cardiac ischemia, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease and rheumatic heart disease. There are several reasons due to which heart diseases occur including high cholesterol diet, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, overweight, smoking, lack of physical exercise, heredity, age and gender. Factors like stress, alcohol, sex hormones and birth control pills may also lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Out of all these risk factors, increasing amounts of stress in daily life is fast becoming the major risk factor for heart diseases.

         According to research reports, stress contributes to heart disease in various ways. Stress causes increased heart rate and blood pressure, thereby increasing the heart’s need for oxygen. This results in angina pectoris or chest pain in people suffering with heart disease. During stress, different hormones released by the nervous system cause an increased blood pressure resulting in an injury to the arterial lining and formation of clots inside blood vessels. Recently, there is good evidence to show that stress also contributes to increase in cholesterol levels leading to heart attack.

        A study has been conducted under the guidance of researchers Andrew Steptoe and Lena Brydon of University College London. During the study, 199 healthy individuals were assessed to find a relation between stress and the changes in total cholesterol levels. Samples were collected from the individuals and were analyzed for total cholesterol including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. According to researchers, stress causes rapid increase in serum lipid levels. Researchers predict that stress might interfere with the body’s lipid clearance mechanism. Stress increases the production of inflammatory molecules like IL-6 and CRP that also increase lipid breakdown.

Heart Disease Stress May Raise Cholesterol Levels in Healthy Person

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