Dr Nighat reveals heart attacks symptoms in women
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Having suffered from two heart attacks, the first in 1968, then another in 1979, it was a third cardiovascular event that killed him. On May 28, 1984, Morecambe collapsed following a performance on stage, having suffered from a third and fatal heart attack. Reflecting back on his life, Morecambe’s widow, Joan, told the Radio Times: “It’s no wonder Eric had a heart attack.
“He was working so hard and taking so few breaks. He always worried the next show would be the last.”
Morecambe’s son, Gary, told The Oldie Magazine: “Being at the top of the entertainment tree was something that never really sat well with my father.
“While his goal had always been to make an honest career as an entertainer, becoming a living legend had not been on his agenda.
“He had no coping mechanism… He was quite stressed by nature – always on the go. Not one to sit and meditate.”
Gary added: “Put simply, he burned himself out. It was at Jimmy Corrigan’s club in Batley, West Yorkshire, in 1968, [when] he had his first heart attack, which almost killed him.
“Suddenly, we had a very frail, elderly man convalescing at home – or so he seemed.”
Can stress trigger a heart attack?
According to research, emotional stress is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
The research team, from Harvard University, suggested stress could be as influential as other heart attack risk factors, such as smoking or high blood pressure.
Looking at brain scans of 293 people, stress seemingly triggers the amygdala – an area in the brain – to signal to the bone marrow to produce extra white blood cells.
This, in turn, causes the arteries to become inflamed, and inflammation is linked to angina (chest pain), strokes, and heart attacks.
People who rated themselves as more stressed were also more likely to have higher levels of activity in the amygdala.
Emily Reeve, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, commented on the study.
“The link between stress and increased risk of developing heart disease has previously focused on the lifestyle habits people take up when they feel stressed such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol and overeating,” Reeve said.
“Exploring the brain’s management of stress and discovering why it increases the risk of heart disease will allow us to develop new ways of managing chronic psychological stress.
“This could lead to ensuring that patients who are at risk are routinely screened and that their stress is managed effectively.”
It must be noted that the research was done on a relatively small sample size.
Moreover, while a link between stress and cardiovascular disease is implied, they can not say that stress causes heart attacks, for example.
Heart attack risk factors include high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity.
Eric Morecambe starred in The Morecambe and Wise Show, which is showcasing on Saturday, December 31 at 9.15pm on BBC Two.
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