Strong emotions causing HA? - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Strong emotions causing HA?


Recently I had a HA 30 minutes after seeing my favourite football team lose a very important game. I had to have emergency CABG 1 week later as 3 of my arteries were found to be blocked after angiogram. My question is this: How can strong emotions be connected with my arteries being clogged up? To my mind, I can understand that my arteries were blocked and that caused chest pain and HA - I cannot see how the strong emotions are connected even though my surgeon assured me they were. Any thoughts?

11 Replies

Wow didn't know that best stop watching my team I get worked up watching my team n I've got heart failure cadiomypathy lol

"chronic stress can lead to the over-production of white blood cells, which can form plaques in the arteries and lead to heart disease, scientists believe."

See this:

I thought this was an interesting topic as I often wondered how stress/excitement was linked to a heart attack so decided to look it up. I don't follow football but it looks like I will need to enrol in meditation classes and cease commuting to avoid further issues lol.

Yes that makes sense. I can see how chronic anxiety can lead to the build up of plaque and clog up the arteries over time. However I was talking about 'acute anxiety' which led to my immediate HA. Still can't understand why that would cause a sudden HA.

"In patients with pre-existing heart disease, the fight-or-flight response can also dislodge arterial plaques, sending blood clots to the heart, causing a heart attack, or to the brain, causing a stroke. All kinds of excitement have been shown to kill people.......

So said Dr Google.

Hi. During stressful events increased amounts of cortisol and adrenaline are circulating so these will have a potential impact on the heart such as raised pulse and BP so presumably if there is existing heart disease then any additional pressure will put the heart at greater risk. I certainly know when I get upset about stuff then my Bp and heart rate goes up. I try to reduce my stress as much as possible (doesn’t always work!!). Best wishes. Zena

Correlation or cause an effect. Your arteries were already clogged up before your team lost. You were thus already a HA candidate. Just because you felt strong emotions at your teams loss does not in itself mean you had a heart attack. That said, extreme stress is a a potential trigger for HA for reasons explained elsewhere. So, look less to your team and more to the underlying cause of your blocked arteries - this was not an instant thing, you’ve been heading that way for a while!. I hope next season is a better one for you, but be aware, getting too excited can be a trigger too 😉

Your mood has a fundamental effect on your health in the short and long term.

Constant pressure and stress will shorten your life, whereas contentment and being in good relationships will reduce the stress on your we should aim to chill out and take a detatched view of things that we have no control half full all the time.

I will be watching tonight's little game with a GTN spray in each hand!! Seriously, the Dutch did some research and found that after watching the national team, heart attacks in men increased significantly! (because more men than women watch football) I would agree with previous responses that if you already have some form of heart disease it probably has some effect. But we can't live emotionless lives, enjoy life and be happy you were diagnosed and treated, sadly many people don't get that second chance. It's coming home.......⚽⚽⚽⚽

Hi there I am not smoke my life and I went to triple by pass my surgeon told me bad eat and stress clogged up 3 arteries. Stress you need to stay away anything your life.

kel55 in reply to Salihyuksel67

try being a WBA fan, heart attacks come with supporting them😢😪😱😱but seriously I have artery spasms which mean that for me any sudden change can triger one. My arteries close shutting down blood flow. it used to be that 40% of people having angiograms have this and not blockages

But some are thinking that this is coservative and it as been over looked in many patients.

I miss going to watch football live but needs must! Now im reserved......until tonight🎉🎊🎉🎊🎉🎊🎉🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃

I cant explain the medical side of it but I agree that emotions play their part. In the run-up to my HA and stenting, I felt pain in my left arm at the slightest emotion- from seeing the kids off to uni to bidding on E-bay!!

Stress hormones? Adrenalin? Physical tension in the body?

Glad you are well now. Will watch your post for more comprehnsive replies than mine!

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