Heart Disease and Stroke
Although research has yet to prove that stress causes heart disease, stroke and heart attacks, it has been shown to worsen these conditions. Stress restricts the arteries, which puts extra work on the heart to pump blood through restricted blood vessels. Stress also thickens the blood, making it harder to pump and increases blood pressure. Chronic stress causes inflammation that may cause damage to blood vessels, which increases the risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis, and stroke.