Nurse Health: Stress Can Kill You!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 21st, 2016

Stress is a leading cause of heart attacks. Heart attacks are the number one killer of women. Ninety percent of nurses are women. We must take care of our nurses’ health and reduce their stress. It is a matter of life and death.

A new brain study shows a high level of stress is linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

nurse health: reduce stressIncreased activity in the amygdale, the fear center of the brain, creates an immune system reaction that increases inflammation in the arteries. Such arterial inflammation is a precursor to heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Dr. Ahmed Tawakol, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, followed nearly 300 people and found their amygdala activity as seen on brain scans indicated whether they would suffer a major cardiac event in the near future.

Stress and current events have heart-health consequences. After an earthquake, tsunami, or human disaster, the incidence of heart attacks over the next six to eight weeks increases substantially, according to the American Heart Association.

The heart-health risk posed by stress is now believed to be on par with factors like smoking, cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Studies prove that stress from anger, hostility, hopelessness or uncertainty directly affect the heart.

Animal studies have suggested that stress can cause bone marrow to release inflammatory cells, which then increase inflammation in the arteries. Researchers found that increased amygdala activity meant greater activity in the bone marrow and increased inflammation in arteries.

These findings show the importance of stress relief in a person’s life.

To learn how to reduce stress and look after the health of your nurses, visit SelfCare for HealthCareContact me today for a complimentary consultation about what’s working and what’s not working in terms of wellness at your facility.

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