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Stress-management and coping strategies are related to cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality

Mental stress not only influences risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD), but predicts CVD mortality. However using coping strategies some can control the impact of stress on cardiovascular health. One of the best known coping strategies are: problem focused coping (attempt to eliminate the cause of the stress), emotion-focused coping (concentrating on the  emotional consequences of stress) and avoidance (distraction, abstracting from the stressful situation). 

A large study was conducted in 2016 in Japan to investigate the association between the coping strategies and CVD in a general population cohort. Analyses on CVD incidence and mortality included 57 017 subjects aged 50–79 without a history of CVD.Mean follow-up time was 7.9 years for incidence and 8.0 years for mortality. It was found that problem oriented coping strategy is related to reduced incidence of stroke (HR 0.85; 95% CI, 0.73–1.00) and reduced CVD morality (HR  0.74; 95% CI, 0.55–0.99). Such coping strategies as fantasizing and positive reappraisal are associated with increased risk of CVD incidence (HR  1.24; 95% CI, 1.03–1.50) and reduced risk of IHD mortality (HR 0.63; 95% CI,0.40–0.99). The avoidance coping strategies are positively associated with IHD mortality (HR 3.46; 95% CI, 1.07–11.18).

Therefore, coping strategies can reduce or increase the negative influence of stress on CVD risk.