New research suggests that trauma may be linked with a higher risk of developing heart disease, especially among post-menopausal women. According to the study, women who experienced three traumatic events in their lifetimes had poorer heart function than those who had fewer traumatic experiences. More specifically, researchers found that the “endothelial function” (the layer of epithelial cells that lines the interior of the heart and blood vessels that help regulate the constriction and relaxation of blood vessels) was compromised among women with more traumatic experiences. Endothelial function is considered a risk factor for heart disease and often precedes atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Clearly, traumatic events should be dealt with in order to stave off physical and mental consequences.
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P.S. Given that heart disease is the number one cause of death among both men and women, it is important to be aware of all potential causative factors.