The fast track may lead to a heart attack

February 4, 2011 By Katie Pence, University of Cincinnati
Imran Arif, MD, interventional cardiologist for the division of cardiovascular diseases

In today’s society, we’re often pushing for the easiest solution, whether it comes to weight loss or the quickest route to work.

But the problem with impatience could affect our health detrimentally—leading to hypertension, obesity and possibly .

Imran Arif, MD, UC Health cardiologist, says that studies have alluded to the idea that impatience could lead to the onset of conditions that could result in heart problems.

"Stress is often a result of impatience,” he says. "Although researchers and physicians are not quite sure how stress increases heart disease, there are studies, as stated in a recent National Public Radio article, that say impatience may lead to an increased risk of hypertension among younger adults,” he says.

In the same article, a report in the Journal of Biosocial Science is cited, linking a rise in American impatience with an increase in obesity.

"This report says that patience can be attributed to putting off immediate satisfaction, which could be achieved by hitting the drive-through at your local fast food restaurant or indulging in that extra treat, and waiting for better, healthier options,” Arif says. "Both hypertension and obesity are precursors for not only heart disease but also a number of other conditions, including diabetes.”

He adds that impatience and the stress that results from it could also lead to unhealthy fillers like overeating or smoking. In addition, a constant adrenaline rush could be unhealthy for the body.

"Stress changes the way blood clots in the body, which increases the risk of ,” he adds.

Arif says additional research on these ties is needed to be conclusive but that there is truth to these claims and that slowing down and focusing on health could lead to positive results.

"If you catch yourself becoming stressed because of your impatience, find something to take your mind off of the situation at hand,” he says, adding that this could mean exercise, counting to 10, calling a friend or just finding something else healthy to get your mind off of the issue. "Take a moment to ask if it’s really worth the rush, and realize that when it comes to your health, nothing is a quick fix.

"Take the time to eat right, exercise, enjoy time with loved ones and the interesting things in your environment. Not only is it good for your state of mind and success in your life but also for your overall well-being.”

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