Breaking News
July 19, 2018 - Cancer patients receiving anti-PD-1 therapies may experience delayed skin reactions
July 19, 2018 - Scientists study adverse effects of carbon, silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers
July 19, 2018 - Keck Hospital of USC receives Magnet recognition for excellence in nursing
July 19, 2018 - Scientists identify hidden signals in RNAs that control protein synthesis
July 19, 2018 - Quadrivalent HPV Vaccine Not Tied to Spontaneous Abortion
July 19, 2018 - FDA OKs first drug made to reduce excessive sweating
July 19, 2018 - New findings do no support caffeine as effective appetite suppressant or weight-loss aid
July 19, 2018 - Prolonged preoperative opioid use linked to adverse outcomes after total knee and hip arthroplasty
July 19, 2018 - Biophysicists use infrared sensor as new method for drug discovery
July 19, 2018 - Rat study shows negative effects of perinatal exposure to phthalates
July 19, 2018 - Children with disabilities endure long waits for life-changing medical equipment
July 19, 2018 - Ways to stay safe while camping and hiking
July 19, 2018 - People with HIV twice as likely to suffer from heart disease
July 19, 2018 - On-the-Job Stress Relief – Drugs.com MedNews
July 19, 2018 - Compounds found in green tea and wine may block formation of toxic metabolites
July 19, 2018 - Gene regulator associated with protein pileup in exfoliation glaucoma
July 19, 2018 - Trump administration summons immigrant infants
July 19, 2018 - FDA grants approval for first breast cancer drug through ‘Real-Time Oncology Review’
July 19, 2018 - Five tips for men seeking plastic surgery
July 19, 2018 - Researchers discover the reasons why some people get dizzy when hearing certain sounds
July 19, 2018 - Research project investigates snake venom treatment as antibiotic alternative for eye infections
July 19, 2018 - Melanoma could soon be detected using a blood test
July 19, 2018 - Exposure to bright light may have big impact on sleep-related behavior in children
July 19, 2018 - Deleting single gene in gut bacteria affects metabolism, reduces weight gain in mice
July 19, 2018 - New proteomics studies help gain more insights into Alzheimer’s, cancer and listeriosis
July 19, 2018 - Study finds major discrepancies in prescription drug labeling pregnancy information across four countries
July 19, 2018 - Cellectar’s CLR 131 Receives FDA Orphan Drug Designation for Treatment of Ewing’s Sarcoma
July 19, 2018 - Watching the immune system in action reveals what happens when things goes wrong
July 19, 2018 - Increasing blood sugar levels improves memory and performance in older adults
July 19, 2018 - Connection between self-regulation and obesity appears to be different for girls and boys
July 19, 2018 - Researchers develop new, less destructive method for whitening teeth
July 19, 2018 - Revving up innate control of viral infection requires a three-cell ignition
July 19, 2018 - Inaccurate direct-to-consumer raw genetic data can harm patients, new research suggests
July 19, 2018 - Weight loss surgery is effective under the right situations
July 19, 2018 - BioTek awarded patent for autofocus feature on microplate reader
July 19, 2018 - Low-carb diets reduce stiffness of arteries in women and promote weight loss in men
July 19, 2018 - New review examines cannabinoids’ potential for direct treatment of cancer
July 19, 2018 - Allergic responses may help protect the skin against cancer, research suggests
July 19, 2018 - Inappropriate Prescribing of Abx High in Urgent Care Centers
July 19, 2018 - Many at risk for HIV despite lifesaving pill
July 19, 2018 - Tips for doctors and parents on the harms of marijuana use for teens
July 18, 2018 - Researchers detect presence of IgE antibodies after kidney transplantation
July 18, 2018 - New technique allows researchers to create large scale, personalized bone grafts
July 18, 2018 - Smoking May Boost Atrial Fibrillation Risk
July 18, 2018 - Genome editing method targets AIDS virus
July 18, 2018 - These things matter: Medical complications are not inevitable, a physician writes
July 18, 2018 - Cognitive functions often wilt as water departs the body, shows study
July 18, 2018 - Origins of bread found 14,400 years ago in Jordan
July 18, 2018 - Low-dose ketamine found to be as effective as opioids for treating acute pain
July 18, 2018 - Novel bioengineering technique could help repair bone defects
July 18, 2018 - Researchers identify new potential target protein for colon cancer
July 18, 2018 - Air pollution contributes significantly to diabetes globally
July 18, 2018 - Cell membrane’s importance offers new strategy to fight infections
July 18, 2018 - Researchers identify key protein involved in irregular brain cell activity
July 18, 2018 - 3D modeling of drug resistance could lead to more effective cancer treatment
July 18, 2018 - Hunger hormones could be key to new treatments for drug, alcohol addiction
July 18, 2018 - Nitrate-cured meats may contribute to mania, study finds
July 18, 2018 - Why men may recover more quickly from influenza infections than women
July 18, 2018 - Study finds discharge against medical advice as predictor of readmissions in heart attack patients
July 18, 2018 - KemPharm Announces Top Line Results from KP415.E01 Efficacy and Safety Trial in Children With ADHD
July 18, 2018 - Self-control and obesity: Gender matters in children
July 18, 2018 - Bioengineers, diabetes researchers convene to discuss future concepts for precision medicine
July 18, 2018 - New findings support more conservative use of ED neuroimaging for non-index seizures
July 18, 2018 - Practicing yoga benefits pregnant women, study suggests
July 18, 2018 - New strategy may lead to more accurate breast cancer diagnoses
July 18, 2018 - FDA Approves Symtuza (D/C/F/TAF), the First and Only Complete Darunavir-Based Single-Tablet Regimen for the Treatment of HIV-1 Infection
July 18, 2018 - New guide helps hospitals pick right partner to handle hospitalist services
July 18, 2018 - Deep data dive helps predict cerebral palsy
July 18, 2018 - Stricter firearm legislation associated with reduced murder and suicide rates
July 18, 2018 - Physical and sexual abuse in childhood associated with endometriosis risk
July 18, 2018 - Omega 3 supplements do not reduce risk of heart disease, stroke or death
July 18, 2018 - GSA’s new publication provides support for safe use of OTC analgesics by older adults
July 18, 2018 - Researchers receive grant from U.S. Department of Education to study children with HFASD
July 18, 2018 - Early childhood adversity increases sensitivity of the body’s immune response to cocaine
July 18, 2018 - Parental incarceration affects health behaviors of children in adulthood
July 18, 2018 - Researchers find that yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes can carry new virus
July 18, 2018 - Two Regimens Fail to Stop Declines in β-Cell Function
July 18, 2018 - Researchers apply computing power to track the spread of cancer
July 18, 2018 - Olfactory receptors play pathophysiological role in all organs than merely smell perception
July 18, 2018 - Fish consumption associated with lower risk of early death
Mental stress-induced constricted blood vessels more likely in women

Mental stress-induced constricted blood vessels more likely in women

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Blood vessel with an erythrocyte (red blood cell, E) within its lumen, endothelial cells forming its tunica intima (inner layer), and pericytes forming its tunica adventitia (outer layer) Credit: Robert M. Hunt/Wikipedia/CC BY 3.0

In women with heart disease, constriction of peripheral vessels during mental stress affects the heart circulation more than men’s, potentially raising women’s risk of heart-related events and death, according to new research in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, an American Heart Association journal.

In most people, mental stress causes peripheral vessels to constrict. In people with heart disease, this effect can cause a reduction in blood supply to the heart muscle called “ischemia.”

“This research is important because previous studies have shown that a reduction in blood supply to the heart (ischemia) during mental stress doubles the risk of heart attack or death from heart disease,” said Viola Vaccarino, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study and professor of epidemiology and medicine at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta, Georgia. “This increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events is about the same level as that seen in people who develop reduced blood flow in the heart muscle during a conventional test, such as a treadmill stress test.”

In the Mental Stress Ischemia Mechanisms Prognosis study, 678 adults (average age 63) with heart disease delivered a speech while researchers measured their blood pressure and heart rate, took imaging pictures of their hearts and measured the constriction of tiny arteries supplying blood in their fingers.

Previously, researchers found that stress-induced reduced blood supply to the heart happened more often in women under age 50 than in men and older women. In this new analysis from the same study, the researchers found:

  • Reduced blood supply to the heart during mental stress in women was mostly influenced by the constriction of tiny peripheral blood vessels in reaction to mental stress, which can cause an increase in afterload, the force the heart must exert to pump blood out of the heart.
  • Reduced blood supply to the heart during mental stress in men was mostly due to a rise in blood pressure and heart rate during mental stress, which increased the workload on the heart.

“Our findings in the peripheral circulation also could reflect what occurs in the arteries in the heart. Instead of dilating and increasing blood flow to the heart during stress, in women the tiny blood vessels are constricted, leading to areas of reduced blood flow,” said Vaccarino, who is also chair of the department of epidemiology at the Emory University School of Public Health. “Constriction of peripheral vessels can also induce ischemia in the heart indirectly, because the heart has to pump against increased resistance.”

For people with heart disease, these results emphasize the importance of finding ways to reduce psychological stress and its potential impact on the body, researchers said.

“Women with heart disease need to know that they may be vulnerable to the effects of mental stress and think about ways to protect their hearts, such as relaxation techniques and physical exercise,” Vaccarino said.

Health professionals treating people with heart disease need to pay attention to the burden of mental stress on their patients, particularly women.

“The psychosocial sphere doesn’t receive a lot of attention during current clinical practice, but it is very important to advise both women and men with heart disease about interventions to reduce stress, and to refer them to other professionals if they need help with depression or anxiety,” Vaccarino said.

Gender differences in the impact of stress on the cardiovascular system detected in this study emphasize the importance of including enough women in all studies of heart disease so that their results can be analyzed separately.

However, this study could not tell whether the unhealthy reaction to mental stress in these participants eventually translated into greater numbers of heart attacks or other indicators of worsening heart disease. This is the objective of the team’s future research.


Explore further:
Mental stress may cause reduced blood flow in hearts of young women with heart disease

More information:
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (2017). DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.117.309535

Journal reference:
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology

Provided by:
American Heart Association

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles