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Can Stress Cause Heart Problems?

Distressed woman clutching her heart. Brookhaven Heart, New York.

Photo by Syda Productions for Shutterstock

Stress is the culprit behind an innumerable number of health issues. Stress is a natural response, but it’s also something to pay attention to – we don’t want to let it get out of hand. Stress can have a substantial impact on your heart, so addressing its personal causes for you is going to improve your quality of life and long-term health. Plus, when you are in a calmer state of mind, you are undoubtedly going to notice a change in your attitude and mentality. Here are some of the problems that stress can cause for your heart, and why you need to make a change now for a better cardiovascular impact later.


Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the most common heart-related reactions to stress. The scariest part about hypertension is that it has very few symptoms, making it known as “the silent killer” that can lead to heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, and cardiovascular disease, among other conditions. A person suffering from hypertension is going to have a heart that is working much harder than a person with normal blood pressure. It’s that amount of strain that eventually leads to the above dangerous, sometimes fatal conditions. If you smoke on top of your stress, consume too much alcohol, or are overweight, you may want to make an appointment to be screened with your doctor. This screening is especially relevant for men over 45 and women over 65.

Artery Conditions

Your arteries are vital for your heart’s operation – you want healthy arteries. High stress levels can compromise your arteries, which is why taking control now is more important than ever. Coronary artery disease is the major artery condition to be concerned about, as it can lead to serious heart attacks and other severe health risks. Plaque buildup within an artery, or atherosclerosis, decreases the amount of blood that can reach your heart. It’s the most obvious cause of coronary heart disease in patients. Besides emergency medical procedures and medication, the cure for coronary artery disease is to make changes to your diet and lifestyle, and that includes confronting your high stress.


High levels of stress can change the way your heart beats – a condition called arrhythmia. There’s a variety of types of arrhythmia, but each type can be a danger because your heart is no longer beating at a regular rhythm, which impacts how it pumps blood to the rest of your body. If severe enough, your other major organs are going to be negatively affected. In the worst cases of arrhythmia, organs can become compromised or even shut down. Organ failure is a life altering experience that needs to be avoided at all costs, which is why it’s now time to devise a stress management plan.

Call Brookhaven Heart Today

These are only three of the many possible effects that high stress can have on your body’s most important muscle. Heart disease is not something we want any of our patients to take on, which is why we suggest you make an appointment with a physician as soon as possible to help create a stress management plan. We are all human, and life can come with many challenges that will affect our psyches – but they will catch up to the rest of your body as well if we do not confront them head-on! Be proactive, and let us help you keep your heart strong. Call Brookhaven Heart today at 631-654-3278. We have three offices in New York: Patchogue, New Hyde Park, and Hicksville.