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ST. LOUIS – A new study finds that chronic stress can lead to higher blood pressures and therefore puts individuals without underlying conditions at the same risk for stroke and heart attack as those with underlying conditions.

Even if your blood pressure is normal, high stress levels may put you at risk of developing hypertension within the next decade. Doubling the levels of cortisol alone was associated with a 90% higher risk of having a cardiovascular event. Becoming aware of what triggers your stress allows you to be able to stop those automatic hormonal responses before they trigger your circulatory system.

Dr. Abhay Laddu, a cardiologist at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital in Lake St. Louis gives tips for managing stress including:

  • Exercising regularly.
  • Making time for friends and family.
  • Getting enough sleep.
  • Maintaining a positive attitude.
  • Practicing relaxation techniques while listening to music.
  • Finding a stimulating hobby that can be fun and distract you from negative thoughts or worries.

If you would like more information, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs Wednesdays on News 11 at 7 p.m. and FOX 2 News at 9 p.m.