Eye 3 Yellow 3d 2 new logo Philly_KYW_new Philly_94WIP_new CBS Sports Radio 610 Philly_WPHT_new

Stress Increases Risk Of Heart Attack

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
Read More

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Are you under stress? Stress is not necessarily a bad thing but how you respond to stress may be as bad for your heart as smoking.

According to researchers at Duke University who have been looking at the role of stress and heart disease, excess levels of the stress hormone cortisol is associated with as much as a 38% increase in the risk of heart attack or death in both men and women.

The researchers studied more than 6,000 patients with known heart disease, in which 1,544 deaths and 225 heart attacks occurred over a 7-year period and supported the link.

There is no way to avoid stress but how you handle stress when it occurs can have a major impact on your overall health.