Yes, but in the form of serious heart disease or other heart problems. If you are perfectly healthy but stressed, you cannot die from it. But if your life is not that healthy and you are constantly stressed, it can put an excessive amount of strain on the heart.
It doesn’t appear that stress itself can cause a person to die—it seems that stress is not seen as a disease—but it can definitely cause other health problems that could, if not treated, lead to death. Stress can cause problems as small as headaches, stomach aches, and sleep problems but can also cause heart palpitations, heart disease, high blood pressure and decreased immunity, all of which can be serious health issues. In addition, if you are stressed you are more likely to take on unhealthy behaviors such as overeating, undereating, drug or alcohol abuse or addiction, and increased smoking, each of which can have their own negative implications for your health that, once again if not treated can ultimately lead to a premature death.
Redbird’s answer I think covers the issue, but if you are interested, you might look into Dr. Robert Sapolsky’s work. He is considered a leading scientist in the study of the effects of stress on the body. He was able to observe a baboon troop that were suddenly removed from stress in the wild (it’s a long story), and from performing health exams (blood pressure, etc) on those baboons he was able to determine that stress indeed contributes to general and specific health issues. His book is called A Primate’s Memoir. He is also, in my own opinion, a man with a great sense of humor and absent a dry, didactic, lecturing tone.
I second the recommendation for Dr. Sapolsky. In fact, he was one of the primary experts within the National Geographic documentary appropriately titled “Stress – Portrait of a Killer” (2008). The documentary discusses in detail the strong, tangible effects of long-term stress on the body, including increased sickness, aging, the aforementioned artery-clogging, high blood pressure, and so forth. One fact I found particularly surprising was that for people under sustained, high-levels of stress, (the documentary presented mothers of disabled children as an example) each year of high stress was equivalent to six years of aging, health wise. It’s definitely worth a look, in my opinion.
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