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What is cortisol and how is it linked to heart failure?

ANSWER

Some researchers have argued a relationship between heart failure and a hormone called cortisol, the "stress hormone." One study found that people with heart failure and high levels of cortisol at night had about three times the risk of dying within 18 months as people who had less cortisol.

Keep in mind, though, that stress is a complex thing and not entirely understood.

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:

Is there a known connection between stress and heart failure?

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