Medicine: A Question of Pressure

Hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) is the No. 1 killer among diseases in the U.S., leads to heart attacks, strokes, hemorrhages. Most researchers and practicing specialists have come to believe that arteriosclerosis comes mainly from excess amounts of cholesterol, a fatty substance that clogs the blood vessels. Last week, in a report, Dr. Herman T. Blumenthal, 43, laboratory director of St. Louis' Jewish Hospital, dealt prevailing opinion a rude shock. His thesis, supported by ten years of research: emotional stress is the main cause of arteriosclerosis. How does it work? Fluctuating blood pressure,...