If you are a very angry person, be warned that your risk of having a heart attack is 9 times higher after an anger outburst.
A large amount of research shows that anger causes heart attacks, and the risk of stroke is 14 times higher after an anger outburst.
A new study examined the link between acute anger episodes and myocardial infarction (MI) in patients with angiographically confirmed coronary occlusion.
Participants with acute coronary occlusion detected by an emergency angiography were asked about their anger episodes in the 48 hours before a heart attack. Researchers found that having an anger level of ≥ 5 (on a 1 to 7 scale) increased the risk of a heart attack by 8.5 timeswithin 2 hours of the anger outburst, compared to the usual frequency. An anger level of ≥ 5 includes “being very angry, body tense, clenched fists or teeth, and ready to burst, to enraged, out of control, throwing objects.”
This is consistent with previous reports, but this study has for the first time, shown these anger effects in patients with confirmed coronary occlusion by angiography. The study was published in the European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care.
Intense anger raises heart rate and blood pressure, and tightens blood vessels, and these lead to vessel rupture. Anger can also cause increased clotting and this can occlude arteries.
Emotion-driven heart attacks are linked to poorer mental health in the longer term, and efforts should be made to prevent anger outbursts. Be a good example and role model to your children, family, and co-workers by staying calm. Anger doesn’t solve problems, it creates problems. If someone sees you behaving with extreme anger, they could rightly believe you are about to harm someone, and act to subdue you.
Omega-3 fats from fish have been shown to reduce anger. Stress reduction and counselling are also effective in helping you overcome your rage, and thus could possibly save your heart and life.