Dr. Kathryn Boling of Lutherville Personal Physicians Discusses Issue of Stress and its Impact on Women's Heart Health

February 23, 2015
Lutherville Personal Physicians

Doctors are learning more about how heart disease in women differs from the same problem in men. One major difference concerns the effect of emotional stress on the heart.

A new study led by Dr. Viola Vaccarino of Emory University in Atlanta shows that women ages 55 and younger who were under mental stress showed a reduction in blood flow to the heart that was three times that of men the same age.

"When you have emotional stress, you release cortisone into your blood stream. When you release cortisone into your blood stream, it does things like raise your blood pressure. It's fight or flight, which is great if a tiger is stalking you in the woods, but it's not so great if it's on a daily level that you're having this problem," said Dr. Kathryn Boling, Family Medicine specialist and physician with Mercy's Lutherville Personal Physicians group.

According to Dr. Boling, the study showed no gender difference in blood flow to the heart during physical stress tests and no gender difference in patients age 65 and older.

The study illustrates the importance of considering patients' gender and age when studying and treating heart disease.

View Dr. Boling's interview regarding stress and its impact on women's heart health.


Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: dcollins@mdmercy.com Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at www.mdmercy.com, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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