Cortisol is a hormone produced in order to aid the body’s recovery from stress. However, recent developments have found that high levels of this are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
The study involved measuring levels of the stress hormone in the participant’s urine at regular periods throughout the duration of the study. During the six years, 183 people died and it was found that the third of the subjects with the highest urinary cortisol had a five fold increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease.
Ellen Mason works as a senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation and has said that though this study provides yet more evidence that stress is linked with an increased risk of heart disease, more evidence about the role of cortisol is needed.
“There are other chemicals in our body besides cortisol which play a part when we’re stressed out. So although this study helps, there is still a lot left to learn”. She said.
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