Fear of Death can Aggravate the condition of Heart Disease Patients
Researchers from London who analyzed 208 heart disease patients stated that the high levels of fear of death can make heart conditions worse. This is because stress can raise levels of TNF-alpha chemical compounds.
Levels of TNF-alpha which is higher in heart attack patients is associated with higher inflammation in their blood. In the European Heart Journal, scientists revealed that the high levels of the chemical can aggravate health conditions.
“Large inflammatory response is known to be able to damage the heart and increase the long-term risk of heart problems,” said Andrew Steptoe from the British Heart Foundation, according to BBC News.
In addition to analyzing the emotional content of patients, the researchers also measured heart rate variability and cortisol stress hormones for 3 weeks after a heart attack.
Prof Steptoe who works on this study revealed that the fear of death is not just an emotional response, but associated with biological changes that occur during acute cardiac disorders.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mike Knapto as medical director of the British Heart Foundation said that the people who most suffered during heart attacks have higher levels of TNF-alpha, so that it is associated with a greater presence of inflammation in the body.
“What needs to be done now is to help eliminate the fear of heart attack patients, so hopefully it can give better results in the long term,” said Dr. Knapto.