The risk of heart attack increases after the presidential election: study

(NewsNation) —People with certain genetic traits are at greater risk heart attack during stressful events, such as presidential elections and holidays, a new study shows.

According to the study As presented at the American College of Cardiology's annual scientific session, people with specific genetic traits such as anxiety or depression are at a “significantly higher risk of heart attack.”

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital said the study was the first to examine the genetic basis for stress sensitivity as a potential cause of acute coronary syndromes (ACS). These syndromes include “heart attacks and other serious conditions in which the heart suddenly loses its blood supply.”

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 18,500 participants in the Mass General Brigham Biobank who experienced ACS and measured their stress sensitivity by measuring their polygenic risk score for neuroticism (nPRS).

The scores were compared between people who had ACS events after stressful times, with those who had events during control periods, and those who did not have ACS. Stressful periods included the five days after the presidential election, ten days after Christmas Day and the five days after major sporting events such as the Super Bowl or the NBA playoffs.

Of the study participants, 1,890 experienced ACS during the study period between 2000 and 2020.

Researchers found that people with above-average nPRS were 34% more likely to have a heart attack during stressful events than during control periods, even after researchers took other traditional heart risk factors into account.

In addition, people with above-average nPRS who also developed anxiety or depression were 3.2 times more likely to have a heart attack after a stressful event than during control periods.

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