Yes. Stress is thought to be an independent cardiovascular risk factor. This means that people who are stressed, even if they do not have any other risk factor, are more likely to develop heart disease than those people who are not stressed. It has taken many years for stress to be identified as an independent risk factor, because it is difficult to measure and the effects of stress acting alone were difficult to separate from the other well-established risk factors. Stressed people may have high blood pressure, may smoke, may eat fatty food and be inactive and overweight, and therefore have high cholesterol and high blood sugar, or come from a family affected by heart disease at a young age.
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