High levels of the stress hormone cortisol strongly predict cardiovascular disease among persons with and without pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.
In stressful situations, the body responds by producing the hormone cortisol. The effects of cortisol are intended to help the body recover from stress and regain normal functioning; however, chronically elevated cortisol levels have been associated with cardiovascular risk factors, such as the metabolic syndrome and accelerated atherosclerosis.
In a new Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism study, researchers evaluated 861 people for cortisol levels over a six-year period and found that those with the highest levels of cortisol had a five-fold increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Tips to reduce stress:
• Learn time management skills to better plan your day.
• Don’t overextend yourself.
• Focus on the positive.
• Set aside relaxation time.
“Cortisol is an important component of the stress system of the human body but in higher concentrations can be harmful,” says lead author Nicole Vogelzangs, Ph.D., of VU University Medical Center in the Netherlands. “Cortisol can be damaging to the cardiovascular system.”
Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and massage therapy for stress management as well as a wide range of other health conditions and common ailments. To schedule an appointment call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director.