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Heart Disease and Stress—Does a Correlation Exist?

JAMA. 1964;187(1):A28-A29. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060140094050.
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ABSTRACT

The kindest words about stress—in the form of vigorous exercise—came from Paul Dudley White, MD of Boston. White discussed physical and emotional stress, and the effects of each type of stress on the heart and blood vessels.

Only when the heart is seriously diseased or inadequately supplied with blood can physical stress harm it, White told the University of California stress symposium.

"Much physical exercise is not only well supported by the healthy heart, but it helps to keep it healthy."

In some cases, however, congestive failure with pulmonary or systemic edema may result from strain if the heart is already seriously diseased and its reserve is low; in other cases of coronary insufficiency, physical stress can be responsible for angina pectoris or even sudden death, he said.

Concerning effects of physical stress on the blood vessels, White said it can do harm in cases of stasis in the

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