Trauma and Financial Distress Among Older Women a Threat to Heart Health

New research has identified two risk factors that significantly increase the likelihood of a heart attack for middle-aged and older women–independent of their risk factors for heart disease or their socioeconomic status.

Traumatic life events, including the death of a loved one, increases the chances of a heart attack by more than 65 percent. A history of financial struggles was associated with a two-fold higher risk.

The study analyzed data collected via the national Women’s Health Study, and compared women who had suffered a heart attack to women who had not. The findings add to the growing body of research on psychological stress and its contribution to the risk of heart disease and adverse cardiac events.