Scientists Identified Why Stress and Fear Lead to Heart Attacks

In a first, researchers have come up with a clarification to why shock, pressure and fear may lead to heart attack and they identified that multiple bacterial species residing as biofilms on arterial surface could lead to such attacks.image001

Hormones produced while in these situations seems to trigger bacterial biofilms on arterial surfaces to spread, enabling plaque build up to rupture into the bloodstream, the results showed.

Because the biofilms are strongly bound to arterial plaque, the dispersal of a biofilm could lead to sudden release of the surrounding arterial plaque, leading to heart attack.

David Davies from Binghamton University stated “Our hypothesis fixed with the observation that stroke and heart attack usually take place after an event where raised levels of catecholamine hormones are released into the blood and tissues, like as happens while in unexpected psychological shock or stress, unpredicted exertion or over-exertion.”

The scientists isolated and cultured various species of bacteria from infected carotid arteries that had been eliminated from sufferers with atherosclerosis.

Their outcomes demonstrated multiple bacterial species residing as biofilms in the surfaces of every atherosclerotic (plaque-covered) carotid artery examined.

The scientists added norepinephrine, at a stage that would be identified in the human body following pressure or exertion, to biofilms formed on the inner surfaces of silicone tubing.

“A minimum of one species of bacteria – Pseudomonas aeruginosa – generally connected with carotid arteries in our research, was capable to go through a biofilm dispersion reaction when subjected to norepinephrine, a hormone liable for the fight-or-flight reaction in humans,” Davies stated.

This study indicates that management of bacteria within an arterial plaque lesion may be as significant as managing cholesterol. The study appeared in journal mBio.