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Excess Stress Can Causes Heart Condition July 21, 2008

FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Erica Cline at 706/828-2225.

Rising stress levels can have an effect on the heart

AUGUSTA – Rising gas prices and a faltering economy are doing more than breaking the bank, they’re breaking hearts.

Abdulla Abdulla, M.D., a cardiologist who practices at University Hospital, said he’s seeing more cases of stress-induced cardiac events.

"Over the past three months, I have seen three cases of stress induced cardiomyopathy," Dr. Abdulla said. "I don't believe I saw one every five years before that."

Ellen King, who had a cardiac event in November and joined University Hospital’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center in April, said she’s had to re-evaluate her health since hypertension and stress were two of the main causes of her heart attack.

Ms. King attends sessions at Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation three days a week to strengthen her heart on a variety of exercise equipment, including treadmills, stationary bikes and elliptical machines.

Exercise is just one way to reduce the stress in your life, according to Lorraine Thomas, a registered nurse and the instructor at University’s Stress Management class.

"It’s important to take time to do something we enjoy every day,” she said. “That's a personal thing. For some folks, it's golf, fishing, reading, building model airplanes."

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