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Can relieving stress improve heart failure?

ANSWER

Perhaps. It seems to make sense, but studying the relationship is harder than you might think. Relieving stress may help someone feel better, which in turn could make them more apt to follow doctors’ orders.

But did the improvement come from less stress or better care?

We do know that lower stress leads to changes in your body. When stress eases, so do levels of cortisol and adrenaline. This could lessen the burden on your heart.

SOURCES: 

American Heart Association.

Harvard Health Publications: "Understanding the stress response," "Exercising to Relax."

PubMed: "Perceived Stress and Mortality in a Taiwanese Older Adult Population," "Effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation on Functional Capacity and Quality of Life of African Americans with Congestive Heart Failure: A Randomized Control Study," "Cardiovascular reactivity, stress, and physical activity," "Exercise acts as a drug; the pharmacological benefits of exercise."

Delamater, A. , April 2006. Clinical Diabetes

Mayo Clinic: "Chronic stress puts your health at risk."

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Tai Chi and Qi Gong: In Depth."

Cole, K. , November 2007. American Journal of Critical Care

Reviewed by James Beckerman on June 1, 2018

SOURCES: 

American Heart Association.

Harvard Health Publications: "Understanding the stress response," "Exercising to Relax."

PubMed: "Perceived Stress and Mortality in a Taiwanese Older Adult Population," "Effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation on Functional Capacity and Quality of Life of African Americans with Congestive Heart Failure: A Randomized Control Study," "Cardiovascular reactivity, stress, and physical activity," "Exercise acts as a drug; the pharmacological benefits of exercise."

Delamater, A. , April 2006. Clinical Diabetes

Mayo Clinic: "Chronic stress puts your health at risk."

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Tai Chi and Qi Gong: In Depth."

Cole, K. , November 2007. American Journal of Critical Care

Reviewed by James Beckerman on June 1, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What happened to people who took an 8-week program on coping skills for stress?

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