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Stress may be more harmful to women's health than men's, says study

The study discovered that during periods of mental stress, blood flow in the heart increases in men, but does not change in a woman's.

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Women more prone to harmful effects of stress than men, study says. (Caroline Wozniacki/Getty Images)

Women may be more susceptible to the health risks of stress than men, says new study.

The study discovered that during periods of mental stress, blood flow in the heart increases in men, but does not change in a woman's heart.

According to Medical Daily, researchers measured the blood pressures and heart rates of 17 men and women when at rest and when participating in a mentally stressful activity.

They used ultrasound scans to measure blood flow into the heart during the tests.

Typically, blood flow to the heart will increase with a rise in heart rate or blood pressure.

"However, in this case, even though the work of the heart went up, the blood flow to the heart did not go up in women, like in the men," said Chester Ray, professor of medicine and cellular and molecular physiology at Penn State's College of Medicine to WebMed.

Indeed, during a mental arithmetic task, both genders showed an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

Yet, while men saw increased blood flow to the heart, women did not.

"Stress reduction is important for anyone, regardless of gender," Ray said, reported Fox News.

"But this study shines a light on how stress differently affects the hearts of women, potentially putting them at greater risk of a coronary event."

Heart disease takes about 600,000 lives each year and is the number one killer of men and women in the United States, said CBS News

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120425/stress-may-be-more-harmful-womens-health-mens-says-study