Really? Strong Emotion Can Precipitate A Coronary Event?

If you are a fan of movies (or perhaps the television show Gunsmoke), you might recall this classic scene: an elderly man is involved in an altercation, or attack, some stress-inducing event. He suddenly clutches his chest, gasps, falls to the ground and dies.

It’s easy to think of this scene as purely theatre, but sadly it is theatre imitating life. That is to say, there truly can be a stress-related component to heart attacks. Emotional and/or physical stress has been shown to cause the release of the catecholine norepinephrine. Here we look at a report that examines some of the ways an endocrine event like norepinephrine release, in response to a sudden flush of anger or excitement, can result in the physiology events of sudden arterial rupture and death.

The article is “Bacteria present in carotid arterial plaques are found as biofilm deposits which may contribute to enhanced risk of plaque rupture”  (1). Continue reading “Really? Strong Emotion Can Precipitate A Coronary Event?”