Insecure People at Higher Risk of Heart Attacks | LiveScience

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Insecure People at Higher Risk of Heart Attacks | LiveScience.

I’m trying a new (to me) feature of WordPress—the Press This feature. The idea is really simple. If you find an article on the web that you think would be of interest to your blog readers, you can activate the Press This feature, and, voilà, you have the beginnings of a post. That’s what I have done here. The article I found is over at and is entitled Insecure People at Higher Risk of Heart Attack. The article is written by Rachael Rettner and features the work of researcher Lachian McWilliams, of Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada. Allow me to provide you with a few bullet points from the article:

  • Insecure attachment appears to be linked to a “higher risk for a number of health conditions, including stroke, heart attack and high blood pressure” (quoting the article). In my post of July 14th, 2010, I mentioned that insecure attachment is associated with increased levels of cortisol. Cortisol is often referred to as the “stress hormone” and is often released under times of stress. Chronically elevated cortisol levels have been associated with the types of health risks mentioned above.
  • Because insecure attachment “is thought to develop at a young age” (quoting Rettner), then the research project described here supports “a growing body of research that suggest that negative experiences in childhood have a wide range of negative outcomes in terms of mental health and [physical] health later in life” (quoting McWilliams).
  • At this point, the article reviews three types of attachment patterns: secure, avoidant, and anxious. I cover these patterns in my July 8th, 2010, post and will not cover them here.
  • Here’s a rather interesting finding of the study, which I will quote at length:

After adjusting for demographic variables, the researchers found avoidant attachment was associated mainly with pain-related health conditions, including arthritis and headaches. Anxious attachment was associated with pain problems, but also with cardiovascular problems, including stroke and heart attack. Secure attachment was not linked to any health problems studied.

  • In an attempt to explain the findings, the researchers hypothesized that “people with insecure attachment might be more prone to dealing with stress through drinking and smoking, which in turn may lead to health problems” (quoting McWilliams).
  • The researchers further hypothesized that people with insecure attachment “might have trouble interacting with their doctors” (quoting Rettner). This agrees with Toni Vaughn Heineman’s observation (talked about in my July 8th, 2010 post) that homeless teens (who often display insecure attachment patterns) often have difficulties accessing services and interacting with service providers.
  • Rettner wraps up by telling us that McWilliams has planned additional research to try to get to the causes behind these associations.