Posttraumatic stress can pose a risk to heart health

Traffic, pressure at work, dates, bills to pay and everyday problems make life more busy and stressful.

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In some cases, stress occurs due to one or more striking factors that are capable of generating trauma (witnessing a natural disaster, experiencing a near-death experience or being a victim of sexual abuse, for example).

If these memories last for more than 1 month, generating anguish, fear and nightmares, the person may have developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PSPT).

A Swedish study has shown that there is a relationship with problems in the heart and circulatory system.

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Patients with post-traumatic stress are 64% more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, such as arrest and heart attack.

In addition, time is of great importance: there is a greater chance of developing these complications if the PSPT occurred less than 1 year ago.

What factors are considered?

The medical and family history and psychological conditions of 136,637 participants diagnosed with post-traumatic stress were investigated, and then the results were compared with the data of 171,314 people without the diagnosis.

The results indicate that among those diagnosed, the chance of heart disease was up to 64% higher compared to emotionally healthy people.

However, it is pointed out that factors such as alcohol consumption and smoking , which were not taken into account, can influence the results. Therefore, they recommend further studies in this area.

Experts believe that patients who develop PSPT should be followed up to try to reduce or avoid cardiovascular complications. The study was published in the journal The BMJ.

How to de-stress?

Stress is a response that the body gives when it is under stress or ‘danger alert’. Having a few moments of stress is normal and understandable. But this reaction, when experienced frequently, can cause damage to health.

Diseases like high blood pressure , insomnia and psychological disorders are some examples of problems that can be caused by the condition.

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So here are some tips to help de-stress:

  • Breathing: Inhale and exhale deeply and slowly. Try to control your breathing and think of good things as you do this. Counting to 10, 20, 30, for example, while breathing helps to maintain patience;
  • Sleep: a good night’s sleep can improve your mood, in addition to allowing your body to rest properly. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and heavy meals before bed can help improve your quality of sleep;
  • Meditation, yoga or prayer: spiritual support helps to control stress. About 20 minutes a day already help you relax and de-stress. And these practices can still be done at any time and place;
  • Self-esteem and encouragement : recognize the good things you do. Thinking or speaking phrases of encouragement and encouragement can help;
  • Smile, dance and sing: valuing these little things in life also helps you relax. The smile releases endorphins and can calm both the person who smiles and the person who receives the smile. Music also helps to control heart rate and improve mood;

Read more: Kindness : Wishing good can reduce anxiety

PSPT is related to cardiovascular problems. Therefore, patients with this disorder should be followed up with specialized professionals to try to avoid future complications. If in doubt, seek medical attention.

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