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.