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The Deadline "Crunch" Imposes Deadly Outcomes

You may remember the blog I posted a couple of weeks ago about the direct connection between the psychological toll of stress and disease. Swedish researchers have found the intense pressure of meeting work deadlines can increase one's risk of a heart attack BY A FACTOR OF SIX over the course of the following day!

And, for those who work in a competitive work environment, the news isn't good either: The stress involved could DOUBLE your risk of a heart attack.

Swedish researchers polled some 1,400 heart attack survivors, ages 45-70, in the metro Stockholm area about their personal life histories leading up to their first heart attacks and compared them to a control group of about 1,700 patients who had not suffered from a heart attack.

Intense pressure over a short period increased the risk of a heart attack more than a buildup of stress over an entire year, and that the heart attack can follow very soon after this spell of increased pressure. Among the heart attack group, 8 percent had faced a significant event at work less than 24 hours before their attack.

However, long-term changes also play a part. Taking on extra responsibility at work over the last year -- if viewed negatively by the participant -- increased the chance of a heart attack by almost FOUR TIMES in women and more than SIX TIMES in men. And a deterioration in financial situation TRIPLED the risk of a heart attack among women.

The key is not stress itself, just your body's ability to tolerate it. You can work to provide your body with tools to compensate for the bioelectrical short-circuiting that can cause serious disruption in many of your body's important systems. I've found energy psychology tools, like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), can be very useful to battle stress as well as depression.

New Scientist December 14, 2004

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