Avera Medical Minute: Stress and Heart Disease - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: Stress and Heart Disease

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Varner Beals is at North Central Heart for his annual stress test. It's been a tough year and he's having a hard time keeping up.

"I'm in the bee business and I had a short year for no reason," he said. "All the bees are dying now and there's a lot of complications. Plus my wife died six years ago in a car accident."

His cardiologist Dr. David Nagelhout is keeping an eye on Varner's heart and stress levels.

"Unfortunately everyone handles stress differently so it makes it very difficult and its probably easy for me to say to try to get out of a stressful situation," said Dr. Nagelhout.

Patients should be aware of a new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association says a stressful work environment can also play a significant role in increasing the risk of another heart attack.

"When people are under a lot of stress they have higher degrees (of things) that increase the stress in the body and in the heart, There are certain medications that will help block that."

Doctors say a stressful work situation is when a person has to do a large amount of work in a short amount of time and at the same time, has little leeway to make decisions and to be creative in his job.

The study authors say that increased risk of heart attack was present for heart attack patients in stressful jobs regardless of the severity of their first heart attack... what medications they were on...what other medical conditions they had...whether they smoked, or their family history.


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