Women Are Vulnerable to Mental Stress–Induced Myocardial Ischemia

* The authors followed 950 individuals with stable coronary artery disease to compare the burden of mental stress–induced myocardial ischemia and angina in women and men. Women who reported angina had nearly double the odds of developing mental stress–induced myocardial ischemia; however, this difference was not observed in men.
* Symptoms of angina in women may be a marker of vulnerability for stress–induced ischemia and should be considered when evaluating and managing women with chest pain
The mind–heart connection
It is fascinating how a nonphysical perception such as stress or anxiety can be converted into a neuropeptide, which can trigger a cascade of chemicals, which can lead to coronary microvascular dysfunction, angina, and even a heart attack.
This study builds on previous research supporting the power of these emotions and adds by showing that this is more prevalent in women than men. In previous studies of myocardial injury with severe emotional stress, the majority of the patients were women, although it also occurs in men.1
In these patients with established coronary artery disease, there were more episodes of angina in women with underlying mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, perceived stress, and post-traumatic stress disorder. And those women with angina related to emotional stressors were more likely to have cardiac ischemia with conventional stress testing.
Actively addressing and transforming stressful perceptions is an important aspect of care for those with coronary artery disease and angina because these studies, and many more, show that working to shift from a negative to a positive perception can be one of the most efficient paths to improving health from within.2
At Botanica Medica Herbal Centre we always seek to address the underlying cause of your health condition and you can be sure we will always treat you as an individual.
If you would like to make an appointment with one of our Naturopaths call Botanica Medica on 8271-1827 today. They are only to happy to share the knowledge they have gained through their studies and patient outcomes, and get you feeling better. Botanica Medica is located at 97 Glen Osmond Road, Eastwood and appointments are available Monday to Saturday including some after hours.
1. Wittstein IS, Thiemann DR, Lima JA, et al. Neurohumoral features of myocardial stunning due to sudden emotional stress. N Engl J Med. 2005;352(6):539-548. http://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa043046
2. Levine GN, Lange RA, Bairey-Merz CN, et al. Meditation and cardiovascular risk reduction: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. J Am Heart Assoc. 2017;6(10):e002218. http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/6/10/e002218
Journal Scan / Research · May 03, 2018
The American Journal of Medicine Michael Allen, MD
Primary Care written by David Rakel MD, FAAFP
Artwork created in Canva