Emotional Stress from Movies Bad for Heart Patients

the MPR take:

Emotional stress elicited from watching movies could pose a risk for patients with heart issues, according to a study published in the journal Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology. Nineteen patients with a cardiovascular disease diagnosis viewed a short but emotionally-charged clip from a film while their hemodynamic parameters and respiration rates were measured. The patients then repeated their breathing pattern without viewing the film clip. Watching the stressful video increased blood pressure, along with respiration rates, in the heart patients. These changes were not evident when the patients repeated their breathing patterns sans movie clip.

Emotional Stress from Movies Bad for Heart Patients
Emotional Stress from Movies Bad for Heart Patients

It's no surprise to anyone who's felt their heart jump into their throat while watching a scary movie that these scenes can be stressful. In a small study published yesterday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, researchers tracked how emotional stress — in this case, watching a harrowing five-minute clip of the rock-climbing movie Vertical Limit — affects the heart.

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