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Exercise Reduces Brain Activity Linked To Stress, Lowering The Risk Of Heart Disease



According to a recent study, exercise can help reduce stress, which in turn can help lessen the risk of heart disease.

Given that a number of heart disease symptoms, including high blood pressure, fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath, chest pain, and even cold sweats, are significantly influenced by stress.

The purpose of the study was to determine whether lowering stress-related brain activity, which has been linked to anxiety, depression, and heart disease, could reduce the risk of heart disease. It also examined if those who are depressed would benefit more from this.

Data from more than 50,000 participants were analyzed in a recent study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers looked at participant brain imaging data and medical information from the Mass General Brigham Biobank.

12.9% of patients experienced cardiovascular disease over a ten-year period. Compared to those who were inactive, those who met recommendations for physical activity had a 23% decreased risk.

Significantly, there was a negative correlation found between increased physical activity and stress-related brain activity, especially in the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in stress control and decision-making.

This decrease helps to explain some of the heart-healthy effects of exercise.

Notably, exercise had an even bigger positive impact on the heart in those who were depressed.

“Physical activity was roughly twice as effective in lowering cardiovascular disease risk among those with depression. Effects on the brain’s stress-related activity may explain this novel observation,” said Dr Ahmed Tawakol, who is the senior author of the study.

He proposed that by comprehending these impacts on the brain, exercise advice for people suffering from stress-related disorders may be customized.

Although more research is required to establish causation, these results show that physical exercise is related to heart health.


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