A stress gene has been linked to a higher risk of heart attacks or heart disease.
Heart patients who had the genetic change were 38 per cent more likely to suffer from heart complications, according to Duke University School of Medicine.
Researchers studied a DNA letter change in the human genome, which had previously been linked to being more susceptible to the effects of stress.
This 38 per cent increased risk of heart attack or heart disease was present in patients with the genetic change, even after factors like age, obesity and smoking had been taken into consideration.
Dr Redford Williams, from Duke University, said that personalised medicine might be the solution, based on what these findings showed.
This study also suggests that stress management techniques and drug therapies could reduce the number of deaths and disability caused by heart attacks.
Professor Jeremy Pearson, from the British Heart Foundation, said that there were positive lifestyle changes that could be made to help manage stress levels, such as “a balanced diet and regular physical activity”.
“If you often feel anxious and you’re worried about your stress levels, make an appointment to talk it through with your doctor,” he added.