News 12 at 6, July 17, 2008
AUGUSTA -- With prices going up and staying up, that's creating a lot of stress on people all over the country. And, if you don't do something to relieve that stress, you could end up in the hospital.
Ellen King is on the road to recovery. "I'm in here because I had emergency open heart surgery," she said, while putting in some time on the treadmill.
And, she's walking that road at University Hospital's Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center.
However, getting to this point means putting a big distance between herself and the reasons she ended up here in the first place.
"Hypertension; stress were the two main factors," she said.
Stress has always had an effect on heart problems, but doctors say lately, it's been getting worse.
"Over the past three months, I have seen three cases of stress induced cardio myopathy," said Doctor Abulla of University Hospital.
He said it's been a huge change from what he's seen in the past. "I don't believe I saw one every five years before that."
One reason could be causing this is the economy. Prices are going up; disposable income is going down and for many, that means the level of stress is going through the roof.
That can really strain your heart, but it can be fixed if you get to your doctor.
Learning to subtract stress from your life isn't as hard as it sounds.
"It’s important to take time to do something we enjoy every day. That's a personal thing. For some folks, it's golf, fishing, reading, building model airplanes," said University Hospital's Lorraine Thomas.
You can't improve the economy, but you can improve your lifestyle and for people like Ellen, that will improve your quality of life. "It’s been a big change. I tell people I have a new perspective," she said.