The reason why stress causes heart attacks and strokes may finally have been discovered by scientists, leading to hopes that it could be prevented.
For years experts have puzzled as to how chronic anxiety leads to heart problems.
But now scientists have found that people who have heightened activity in a part of the brain linked to stress – the amygdala – are more likely to develop cardiovascular events.
The amygdala is responsible for telling the bone marrow to temporarily produce more white blood cells which fight infection and repair damage. It essentially prepares the body for a harmful experience, such as being punched and would have been vital to survival in our evolutionary past.