Hearts may swoon when stocks do, study suggests

ATLANTA (AP) - A study at a major medical center suggests more heart attacks may have occurred as stock prices crashed at the start of the recession.

Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina tallied heart attacks treated at their hospital and compared the numbers with the Nasdaq stock index from January 2008 through July 2009, when the economy started to recover. As stocks dipped, heart attacks rose. The trend weakened once they took into account seasons of the year, however, because heart attacks are more common in winter.

However, other experts say the issue is worth studying nationwide because stress can lead to heart attacks.

The study was released Saturday at an American College of Cardiology conference in Atlanta.

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