Adults who struggle to pay their bills are 13 times more likely to have a heart attack, new research suggests.
South African scientists also discovered the risk is increased six-fold in those with stressful jobs.
The new claim echoes research published in February in The Lancet that stress is as likely as smoking and high blood pressure to cause heart and circulatory diseases.
Doctors are now urging for updated guidelines to ask heart attack patients about their level of stress at work and home, in a bid to achieve earlier diagnosis and quicker intervention.
The findings suggest that all patients should urgently be offered information on how to combat stress.
Doctors have been urged to identify possible barriers to lifestyle change or adherence to medication, so they can maximise the effectiveness of their plan to slash their patients’ risk of repeat attacks.