An invasive new medical study that analyzed 7,000 deaths has revealed that the wealthy and healthy are more likely to survive a heart attack than those in poorer, more stressful circumstances.
The clinical trial, detailed in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at the survival rates of patients at different socioeconomic levels and disclosed a fascinating theme that emerged: the very ability to shrug off stressful life events appears to protect healthy individuals.
“Our results show that socio-economic status is not correlated with reduced mortality in the coronary artery disease population,” the researchers wrote.
Their conclusion, drawn from the results of long-term data analysis, was summarized by The New York Times as follows: “A person’s lack of stress has been shown to extend their lifespan by about five years, and now scientists have demonstrated that stress may increase the risk of heart attack by the same amount.”
Given the powerful trickle-down effects that reducing anxiety or depression would have on medical interventions, it’s easy to envision the full-body benefits that a reduction in stress would have for patients and health care providers, aside from the emotional relief.