A five-year study published in the January 15, 2002 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology shows that heart patients may benefit from stress management. One group of 94 subjects were men with heart disease who went through training that taught them ways to control negative thoughts and emotions and other stress-reducing techniques including muscle relaxation. During the course of the study, the men receiving the training in stress-reduction were less likely to need a heart procedure (like bypass or angioplasty); they also had lower doctors’ costs and lower hospitalization costs over the five-year period of the study.

High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease are all linked to stress, according to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (1992;11(5);609/Abstract 40). According to Postgraduate Medicine (January 1991;89(1):159-164), stress can be involved in coronary spasm, plaque formation, increased platelet aggregation, and thrombus formation. Stress has even been linked to sudden cardiac death.