(CMR) A new study has found a correlation between women who bottle up their feelings and an increased risk for strokes and other cardiovascular issues.
The research carried out by the North American Menopause Society suggests that it's much better for women to speak and express themselves than keep it inside. 304 women were used in the study and their levels of emotional expression were evaluated through self-reporting on a range of factors such as how they expressed anger. The women were then subjected to an ultrasound to evaluate plaque buildup in their arteries.
It found that women who “self-silenced” or withheld their emotions had a greater degree of plaque buildup in their arteries. “
They found that greater self-silencing was related to increased odds of plaque independent of socio-demographics, CVD risk factors, and depression,”
Research has previously been done on suppressing emotional expression and it impacts on mental and physical health in women. However, this is the first time that cardiovascular health and stroke risks were specifically examined.
“Studies like this one are valuable as they highlight the importance of understanding how a woman’s emotional disposition can affect her physical health. “These results should encourage healthcare providers to take into consideration socio-emotional factors when outlining a preventative care plan for their patients.”Dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director of The North American Menopause Society.
While there is a correlation there is not yet a proven cause and effect.