Feeling 'scared to death' is not just a cliché, it can really happen.
New data pinpoints why stressful situations can trigger heart attacks. Researchers studied the bacteria from diseased arteries taken from patients, and say they have the potential to be toxic.
Study co-author David Davies explains that certain hormones are released into the bloodstream when a person experiences a sudden emotional shock, and that the hormones can shift bacteria clinging to arteries. Those bacteria can then enter the blood stream and cause a heart attack or stroke. The findings indicate that managing bacteria may be just as important as monitoring cholesterol in patients with a build-up of fatty deposits in their arteries.
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