GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - When it comes to reducing your chances of a heart attack could it be all in your head?
New research out of Harvard University may be a game changer when it comes to your risk of a heart attack.
It has to do with stress and its effects on your brain. Specifically, your amygdala. This is the area of the brain that's associated with stress and researchers believe it can also predict your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Researchers recorded brain activity, bone marrow activity and inflammation in the heart arteries. They found that in patients with cardiovascular events, the amygdala showed very high activity.
What researchers believe may be happening is that stress activates the amygdala, leading to extra immune cell production in the bone marrow causing inflammation in the arteries, ultimately leading to a heart attack or stroke.
There is much more research that needs to be done, including how to measure stress as it's different for everyone. But of course, this doesn't toss out a healthy diet or exercise to reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease and heart attack.
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