Stress, The New Risk Factor For Strokes

Faye Prior | 2014-09-27 07:12:01

When it comes to risk factors for a stroke, or any other cardiovascular disease for that matter, the most emphasis is placed upon typical risks like being overweight, having high blood pressure, and eating an unhealthy diet. But in a new modern age, where technology amongst many other things has changed the way our lives are structured, it’s time to focus on new risk factors, like stress.

Most people experience stress at some point during their week, but for some it’s more persistent than others, especially when it comes to health, relationship, employment and financial problems. One of these alone can leave a person feeling stressed from the moment they wake to when they fall asleep.

This stress is unsurprisingly having an effect on peoples physical health, with people experiencing chronic stress being more likely to suffer some form of a stroke, especially when this leads people to feel more cynical about how things are in their life and the world in general.

From one aspect being stressed might make us more likely to order a take away, crack open a bottle of wine, and to skip the gym. Overtime these repeated actions contribute to these traditional risk factors that increase our risk of a stroke. But stress itself can directly affect our body by itself, making our blood vessels more inflamed and likely to clot.

So in a century where it’s beginning to be seen as cool to be busy all the time, with people working 12+ hour days to make a good impression, and others struggling to even find any work at all, it’s important not just to watch things like our waist line and blood pressure, but our stress levels too.

Faye Prior (Researcher)


Everson-Rose et al., (2014). Chronic Stress, Depressive Symptoms, Anger, Hostility, and Risk of Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Stroke, Publish ahead of print July 10.