the-stress-1473487Stress may be especially hard on the hearts of younger women who have heart disease, new research suggests.

Researchers gave nearly 700 men and women with heart disease a mentally stressful public speaking assignment. Then they measured blood flow to the heart.

Women aged 50 or younger were nearly four times more likely than men of the same age or older women to have reduced blood flow to the heart, said study leader Dr. Viola Vaccarino. She is chair of epidemiology at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta.

Reduced blood flow — known medically as myocardial ischemia — can lead to a heart attack, she noted.

“Younger women appear to be more vulnerable [than men and older women] to the effects of stress on their heart,” Vaccarino said. Read the full story here …