Everyone experiences stress—the condition caused by a reaction to physical, chemical, emotional or environmental factors. However, they feel it in different amounts and react to it in different ways.
Constant, or chronic, stress can cause the body to remain in high gear for extended periods of time, which causes breathing and heart rate to speed up and blood pressure to rise.
While it’s unknown if stress itself can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, also called heart disease, it may affect other risk factors and behaviors, such as high blood pressure, smoking, physical inactivity and overeating.
Learn more about stress and heart health.
Find ways to address the causes of your stress, and be sure to make time for things you enjoy. The American Heart Association provides valuable information and tools about reducing stress, an important part of your treatment plan and overall health.
This content was last reviewed July 2015.