Post-9/11 Stress Sparked Hike in Heart Disease, Study Finds

Jumped 53% in three years following attacks
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2008 4:47 AM CST
USA. New York City. September 11, 2001. Firefighters pass St. Paul's Church as they enter "ground zero" of World Trade Center wreckage. (NYC14308)   (Magnum Photos)
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(Newser) – Stress triggered by 9/11 caused a 53% increase in heart problems in the three years following the catastrophe, a new study has found. This held true even for those with no personal connection to the attacks, according to the research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Chronic worriers concerned about terrorism for several years after the attacks were up to 4 times more likely to suffer from problems such as high blood pressure and stroke.

Those who reported high levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms up to two weeks after the attacks were twice as likely to have problems. "It seems that the 9/11 attacks were so potent that media exposure helped to convey enough stress that people responded in a way that contributed to their cardiovascular problems," said the study's lead researcher.