Cardiovascular system

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The effect that stress has on your heart can be primary and secondary.

Firstly, in a stressful situation when cortisol prepares you to fight or flight, your heart and lungs work extra shifts to deliver more oxygen and circulate the blood better, so that you can perform (counteract the stressor, for example by running away).

But without a break, your heart gets overworked and additionally influenced by other processes that happen with stress in the body (such as inflammation). What then follows is high blood pressure, accelerated heartbeat, which can potentially lead to stroke and other heart problems.