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Study: Stress reduction program can cut risk of death by as much as 30 percent

Posted On Tue, January 25, 2011
Swedish researchers are hailing the efficacy of stress reduction programs, as their findings reveal they can help cut the risk of heart attacks by 30 percent.

Researchers discovered the positive effects of stress reduction programs after randomly assigning some of the 350 heart disease patients they recruited to a cognitive behavioral therapy program in addition to the usual medications. Those that weren't assigned to the program received standard treatment.

After a year of therapy and eight years of follow-up, there were more deaths, cardiovascular events and heart attacks among the men and women that did not participate in the stress-reduction program.

While it isn't known what it is about CBT that protects the heart specifically, researchers say the program trains people to help them think and behave better, thus reducing stress levels.

The study is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Health insurance providers have been known to offer customers stress-reducing programs. Because they're so beneficial to long-term health, it's understandable why, as they help lower medical costs for both the customer and the provider.

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