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Super Bowl Stress Can Spark Heart Attacks
Date:2/5/2010

nary risk factors like high blood pressure or diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, they should discuss it with their health-care provider to maybe level that a little bit," Kloner said.

Kloner noted there are stress reduction programs and even some medications that can help keep you calm.

In another study, researchers looked at deaths during the 2006 World Cup soccer matches in which Germany played. During six of the seven German games, they found an increase in the number of reported cardiovascular events. That effect was even more pronounced when the Germans were involved in a dramatic match where the winning goal was scored during the last minute.

On days when the German team was playing, the proportion of cardiac patients who were male jumped to an average of 71.5 percent, while men only accounted for 56.7 percent of cardiac care during the no-play period.

Overall, the incidence of cardiac emergencies in men increased 3.26 times the average of the control period when the German team was playing. For women, the increase was 1.82 times higher than the control period.

Yet another study found that people with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) who let their anger get the better of them could be at high risk for sudden cardiac death from cardiac arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeats.

Siegel noted that eating too much and drinking too much can add to the stress, which, combined with anger, can also help trigger a heart attack.

Another expert, Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said "the danger is real. Although uncommon, severe emotional stress can trigger cardiovascular events."

Some people may respond to the emotional stress of watching their favorite sports team lose an important game by releasing large amounts of catecholamines -- adrenalin and noradrenalin, also called epinephrine and norepinephrine -- into
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