Social connections reduce risk of heart attack, stroke: DAK

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Srinagar, June 21: If you are connected to your neighbors, have
strong family ties and are involved in your community, you have
less chances of getting a heart attack or stroke, said Doctors
Association Kashmir (DAK) on Thursday in a communiqué.
“Social connections reduce your risk of having a heart attack or
stroke,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
Quoting a study, he said people who were less connected to others
were 29 percent more likely to have a heart attack and 32 percent
more likely to suffer a stroke than people who had more social
interactions and relationships.
“That means about a third of heart attacks and strokes can be
prevented by strong social ties.”
Dr Nisar said social interactions help to buffer the damaging
effects of stress which exposes the body to high levels of hormones
like adrenaline and cortisol that lead to clogging of blood vessels.

“Stress makes other risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes
and high cholesterol worse,” he said adding that “people who have
lot of stress smoke and choose other unhealthy ways to deal with
stress which in turn heighten the risk for a coronary or a brain
event.”
“Interpersonal contact helps you pull in healthy habits and
behavior like regular exercise, healthy diet, avoidance of smoking
and reducing weight,” Dr Nisar pointed out.

“People around you can bring sense of purpose and meaning in
your life that translates to taking better care of yourself,” he added.
“While social integration has been found to protect your heart and
brain, more and more people are living alone and loneliness is
becoming increasingly common,” said Dr Nisar.
“Physicians and healthcare providers should emphasize the
significance of social relationships on health as much as
advocating for eating right and exercising,” he opined.