Stress and Heart Disease: How you think, feel, and live affects your heart, says the Harvard Heart Letter

Depression, stress, loneliness, a positive (or negative) outlook on life, and other psychosocial factors extend beyond affecting mood and reach into the heart. How you think, feel, and behave can affect heart disease for better or for worse, reports the June issue of the Harvard Heart Letter.

In terms of their contribution to heart attacks, psychosocial factors are on a par with smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and cholesterol problems. How do emotions, behaviors, or social situations promote heart disease or make it worse? No one really knows, says the Harvard Heart Letter, which will be exploring the mind-heart connection in its next two issues as well. But there are plenty of theories.

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