Are you stressed? If so, your chances of heading to an early grave are significantly higher.
Report by MailOnline
New research has found that people who reported feeling anxious and overwhelmed were 27% more likely to suffer a heart attack.
The study, led by Columbia University Medical Centre researchers, was published in the American Journal of Cardiology.
The researchers looked at six previous studies where people had been asked about their perceived stress with questions such as ?how stressed do you feel?? and ?how often are you stressed??.
The groups were separated into high and low stress scores and then followed for 14 years to track the number of heart attacks.
Those who were the most stressed were 27% more likely to have a heart attack.
The effect of stress was so profound that the researchers compared it to smoking more than five cigarettes a day.
It was also likened to a 2,8mmol/l increase in LDL cholesterol and a 2,7/1,4 mmHg increase in blood pressure.
The British Heart Foundation says that people who are at high risk of, or already have, heart disease should aim for an LDL cholesterol level under 2 mmol/l.
LDL cholesterol is considered a risk for heart disease that can lead to heart attack because it contributes to the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood flow to the heart from plaque buildup, or atherosclerosis.