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[Stress Home Page][Holistic-online Home]

Stress: It Is Deadly

Irrespective of what you do, you have and will experience stress at some time in your life. In a recent survey 89% of respondents described experiencing "high levels of stress".

Impact of Stress

Stress is very expensive. Let's look at the statistics:

Stress is recognized as the number one killer today. The American Medical Association stated that stress was the cause of 80 to 85 percent of all human illness and disease or at the very least had a detrimental effect on our health.


Every week, 95 million Americans suffer some kind of stress related symptom for which they take medication.


American businesses lose an estimated $200-$300 billion dollars per year to stress related productivity loss and other cost. To put this in perspective, this amount is higher than the total cost related to all strikes and the net profit from all Fortune 500 companies!

The American Institute of Stress in Yonkers, New York, estimates that 90 percent of all visits to doctors are for stress-related disorders. In women, stress has been linked to fatigue, hair loss, bad complexion, insomnia, disruption of the menstrual cycle, low libido and lack of orgasm, among others. There's even evidence that it can increase your risk of more serious problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

Stress speeds up your entire system and produces conditions in younger people that are more commonly associated with growing old. Virtually no part of your body can escape the ravages of stress.

Studies show that stress can reduce the power of our immune systems. A study in the U.K. exposed 266 people to a common cold virus and then tracked who became sick. 28.6 percent of those with few signs of stress caught the cold. However, the figure jumped to 42.4 percent for those who were under high stress.

Other studies show that women who have trouble coping with stress may be at risk of building up dangerous abdominal fat. A study at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, of 42 obese women found that those with abdominal fat (apple shaped) secreted more stress hormones than those who carry extra weight on their hips (pear shaped). It is known that apple-shaped people are more at risk of heart disease.

Stress increases heart rate and blood pressure. It changes the inner lining of our blood vessels, making our blood more likely to clot. Stress may change the way cholesterol is handled by our blood vessels and, in doing so, may increase plaque formation.

A study of 5,872 pregnant women in Denmark showed that women who are under moderate to high stress in the last trimester are 1.2 to 1.75 times more likely to give birth prematurely.

Next Topic: Origins of Stress

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