Harvard Heart Letter

Emotional stress induced ischemia

Emotional stress causes a temporary slowdown in blood flow to the heart in seven of 10 people with heart disease. There’s a medical term for this: mental stress–induced myocardial ischemia. Emotional and mental stress work the same way as inadequate blood flow caused by physical stress and may be just as likely to trigger a heart attack. Learning to cope with stress is the best first option; some people may benefit from antidepressants or other drugs.
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