Stress is bad for you. We all know that. We also all experience it, and with unemployment levels holding steady, economic recovery slow and a tight election race in progress, you might well ask: Just how bad is stress, really? 

A recent study investigated these questions, and found that stress — in particular the kind of stress that impacts high-strung, Type A personalites — can greatly multiply your risk of stroke. The stress levels of 150 stroke patients admitted to a hospital in Madrid, along with 300 of their healthy neighbors, were evaluated on several dimensions. A person’s chance of having a stroke more than doubled if they exhibited Type A personality traits, smoked, or drank more than two energy drinks a day. It more than tripled for someone with poor sleep patterns or a history of heart rhythm disturbances. And it multiplied nine-fold for one unlucky participant group: men.

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