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"People complain about how overwhelming their lives are, but they don't connect it in a biological sense with the problems they experience: eating too much, not sleeping well, not being physically active," says Bruce McEwen, a neuroscientist at New York's Rockefeller University who is considered the godfather of stress research.

Across the country, people are experiencing increasing levels of stress, Siri Agrell writes in Saturday's Globe and Mail. And chronic stress has been linked to a wide range of health concerns, including Alzheimer's, depression, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. In Canada, hypertension is the No. 1 reason people go to the doctor, and last year accounted for almost 20.7 million medical appointments.

On Monday, Dr. McEwen and Globe reporter Siri Agrell took questions on why we should be worried about stress.

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