1. Stress has been called “the silent killer” and can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pain, and an irregular heartbeat.

2. While it is a myth that stress can turn hair gray, stress can cause hair loss. In fact, telogen effluvium (hair loss) can begin up to three months after a stressful event.

3. In 2009, the top most stressful jobs were a surgeon, commercial airline pilot, photojournalist, advertising account executive, and real estate agent. The least stressful jobs were actuary, dietitian, astronomer, systems analyst, and software engineer.

4. The top three stressful cities in America are Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and New York, New York.

5. Stress alters the neurochemical makeup of the body, which can affect the maturation and release of the human egg. Stress can also cause the fallopian tubes and uterus to spasm, which can affect implantation. Stress in men can affect sperm count and motility and can cause erectile dysfunction. In fact, stress may account for 30% of all infertility problems.

6. Chinese stress balls (Baoding balls) were created during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) in Baoding, China. Originally made of iron, the balls are thought to relieve stress because they touch pressure or acupuncture points on the hand.

7. Stress can make acne worse. Researchers say stress-related inflammation rather than a rise is sebum (the oily substance in skin) is to blame.

8. The stress hormone cortisol not only causes abdominal fat to accumulate, but it also enlarges individual fat cells, leading to what researchers call “diseased” fat.

9. Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, liver cirrhosis, and suicide.

10. The stress of caring for a disabled spouse increases the risk of stroke substantially.

11. Chronic stress can impair the developmental growth in children by lowering the production of growth hormone from the pituitary gland.

12. A 2009 CNN poll reveals that the number one reason for stress in most countries is money. The countries most stressed about money are Malaysia, China, Singapore, and the United States. The countries least stressed about money are Russia, France, and Italy.

13. The term “stress” derives from the Latin stringere (to draw tight).

14. Stress causes capillaries to close, which restricts bleeding if a flesh wound should occur.

15. A 2003 study found that women with moderate levels of stress were at lower risk for suicide than those women who had very high or very low levels of stress

16. Pupils dilate (mydriasis) during stress much the same way they dilate in response to attraction: to gather more visual information about a situation.

17.Chronic stress floods the brain with powerful hormones that are meant for short-term emergency situations. Chronic exposure can damage, shrink, and kill brain cells.

18. Scientists suggest that stress is part of the evolutionary drive because it has enabled humans to survive. Specifically, stress temporarily increases awareness and improves physical performance.

19. Stress makes the blood “stickier,” in preparation for an injury. Such a reaction, however, also increases the probability of developing a blood clot.

20. Chronic stress increases cytokines, which produce inflammation. Exposure to constant inflammation can damage arteries and other organs.

Source: Fact Retreiver by Karin Lehnardt