Ask a Texas Heart Institute Doctor
Informed patients make better patients.
How important is stress as a risk factor for arterial blockage?
I am a 52 year old woman and I have just had my second heart stroke. I have two stents and never smoked. I've done a lot of aerobic exercise such as running and trekking. I am not overweight. No significant cholesterol. Hereditary patterns, of course: uncles and grandfathers. The question is about the importance of stress in everyday life in the blockage of arteries. Thank you.
submitted Paula from Madrid, Spain on 11/22/2012
by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Patrick J. Cook, MD
I assume by your comment, "heart stroke", you mean a heart attack. Stress may be contributory to some degree, but usually less than the conventional risk factors. You can't change your parents, but CAN be super aggressive in terms of lipid management, blood pressure control, and I'd also make sure glucose levels are normal. Continue exercise when okay'd by your cardiologist. I'd also do regular stress testing.
See also on this site:
Has your question or a similar one already been answered?
Search all the Heart Doctor questions and answers.
To search for a doctor or access St. Luke's physician referral service, use the "Find a Doctor" link at the top of this page.
Updated December 2012