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Rise in Cardiovascular Diseases During Crisis

heart attacksResearch presented on May 18 at the Heart Failure Congress 2014, held May 17-20 in Athens, Greece, showed that the financial crisis has caused an increase in cardiovascular diseases. The Congress is the main annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology.
“Greece plunged into an economic crisis in 2008 and since then there have been rises in unemployment, wage reductions and a fall in standard of living. Previous studies have shown that cardiovascular disease is more frequent during crises such as wars and natural disasters.” stated Dr Alexios Samentzas
The researchers analyzed all admissions to the cardiology department of Elpis General Hospital in Athens during two periods. The first time period, from 2003 to 2007, was defined as the pre-crisis period, while the period from 2008 to 2012 was the crisis period.
During the pre-crisis period the hospital received 3,420 admissions and 3,860 during the crisis period. The number of heart attacks rose in both sexes and especially in women.
According to Dr Dimitra Papadimitriou, women are “naturally” protected against heart diseases due to the production of estrogens. However, she claimed that “during the financial crisis, women’s natural protection against heart disease may have been cancelled because of stress, which is an important factor in the development of heart attacks.”
Heart diseases are related to depression and anxiety. The financial crisis, unemployment and wage cuts have increased stress, disappointment and anger and decreased self-esteem and satisfaction. These negative emotions have certainly contributed to the rise in cardiovascular diseases in Greek citizens. 

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