Stress from an election could take a toll on your heart health, doctors say


AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — The year 2020 has been anxiety-producing enough, but add on the stress of an election and that may be too much for your heart to handle.

“We definitely see an uptick in cardiac events with these sorts of stressful episodes,” said Dr. Jonathan Ginns.

The cardiologist for adult congenital heart disease says Heart Hospital of Austin is ready for a possible surge of heart attacks and strokes following what are considered stressful events like the presidential election.

“It’s something that we’ve become aware of in the last five to 10 years, particularly after the election in 2016, there was [an] uptick in particularly heart attacks, strokes,” Ginns said. “It’s probably related to increased stress hormones related to stressful events.”

When asked if he could make that direct connection between election stress and a patient experiencing high blood pressure or symptoms of a heart problem, he said, “I guarantee you that 90% of people talk about politics and the election with a physician. We hear about this a lot and those create a lot of stress; there’s no question a lot of people talk and get worried about it.”

His advice? Relax and know the signs of possible a heart attack or stroke.

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Glen Mills

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...