Information on this really interesting study finding a spike in heart problems ahead of the 2016 vote is published by UNC Health. Here is an excerpt:
American politics can be stressful and confrontational, which can lead to anger. The combination of intense stress and negative emotions can trigger potentially fatal cardiovascular events in people who are susceptible to these health issues. But the direct link between a stressful political election and an increase in cardiac events hadn’t been established, until now. A new study in the Journal of the American Heart Association is the first to show that exposure to a stressful political election is strongly associated with an increase in potentially life-threatening cardiac events.
“This retrospective case-crossover study was conducted in North Carolina, which was a swing state in the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” said lead author Lindsey Rosman, PhD, assistant professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the UNC School of Medicine. “People living in North Carolina were exposed to a particularly high volume of negative political commercials, advertisements and campaign events that were very intense in rhetoric. So, their stress levels may have been especially high leading up to the 2016 election.”
The study looked at data from implanted cardiac devices of 2,500 patients at three points in time: a six-week span leading up to and following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and two control periods that consisted of a six-week span from June to July of 2016, and a six-week span from October to November of 2015. Rosman and her team found a 77% increase in the risk of arrhythmia – an abnormal heart rate or irregular heart rhythm – during the 2016 election period compared to the control periods.
Read the full story here.