One of the most followed events this year, in addition to the pandemic, is the electoral campaigns of the presidential candidates of the United States. Tempers are heated among its participants, and many may be oversaturating on the subject, which is not healthy at all.
Those most skeptical about the effect of politics in our lives could simply look back. As an example, we have a study published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, which reveals a connection between acute cardiovascular events and the 2016 presidential election.
Researchers from Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health and Kaiser Permanente report found a 1.62 times higher hospitalization rate in the two days immediately after the election compared to the rate recorded the week before the election.
Events involving the population increase the prevalence of CVD
It’s not really anything new. Previous studies had already found that major events that affect the population, such as earthquakes, industrial accidents, terrorist attacks, and even sporting events, can lead to an increase in CVD.
And if we go back to today, the American Psychological Association recently reported that the current political climate can be a major source of stress. And although little is known about the impact it can have on people’s health, it is a matter of care.
That is why the researchers took this opportunity to do their own review taking a relatively close scenario, such as the US presidential election four years ago.
They consulted the registry for Kaiser Permanente Southern California, a healthcare system that serves 4.6 million people in the region, pulling out a robust database.
They then focused on the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction and stroke in registered adults. They also looked at the emergency department diagnoses for chest pain and unstable angina.
Thus, they discovered that, in the days immediately after said electoral event, the rate of hospitalizations for acute cardiovascular events was 573.14 per 100,000 person-years, or 94 total hospitalizations. This result was much higher than that obtained for the same period, but two days before the elections, of 353.75 per 100,000 person-years (58 total hospitalizations).
Sociopolitical stress can trigger CVD
The study authors note that the results were similar in all groups of sex, age and race and ethnicity. And of course, they agree that they suggest that socio-political stress can trigger CVD events.
“This is a wake-up call for all health professionals that we must pay more attention to the ways in which stress related to political campaigns, rhetoric, and election results can directly harm health,” says David Williams, corresponding author of the study.
For his part, the study leader, Matthew Mefford, highlights the importance of people being aware of the effect of these types of events on our physical health.
“It is important that people are aware that stress can trigger changes in their health and that healthcare providers help patients cope with stress by promoting wellness strategies such as exercise, yoga, meditation and breathing. deep ”.
It should also serve as motivation to learn to take things more calmly. While these types of situations can certainly define the future of a population, dislikes, arguments and enmities with those who think differently can have a much more immediate negative impact.
Sociopolitical stress and acute cardiovascular disease hospitalizations around the 2016 presidential election. https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/10/06/2012096117
Heart attack uptick attached to 2016 presidential election. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/10/uptick-in-heart-attacks-following-2016-presidential-election/