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Intense anger increases heart attack risk

Intense anger increases heart attack risk

heart attack

heart attack

Hold your temper because it could trigger a heart attack.

The risk of heart attack is 8.5 times greater in the two hours following a burst of intense anger.

The higher risk is not just confined to when you are angry. It lasts for two hours after the outburst.

In the study in the University of Sydney “anger” was qualified as 5 and above on a scale of 1-7.

Very angry was described as a scale where the body is tense with clenched fists or teeth and ready to burst up to the point where the person is “enraged, out of control, throwing objects”.

Arguments with family members (29pc) or with others (42pc) work anger (14pc) and road rage (14pc) where the most common triggers, according to Dr Thomas Buckley at the University of Sydney School of Nursing.

“The data also revealed that episodes of anxiety can also make you more likely to have heart attack,” he added.

“High levels of anxiety were associated with a 9.5 fold increased risk of triggering a heart attack in the two hours after the anxiety episode.”

He explained that the anger or anxiety leads to increased heart rate, blood pressure, a tightening of blood vessels and increased clotting which are all associated with heart attack.

“Our findings highlight the need to consider strategies to protect individuals most at risk during times of acute anger,” he stressed.

Senior author Professor Geoffrey Tofler, Preventive Cardiology, University of Sydney suggested that the risks could be lessened by stress reduction training to reduce the frequency and intensity of anger episodes.

Improving general health by minimising blood pressure and high cholesterol or giving up smoking would also help.

“Our research suggests that when managing a person with heart disease or in preventing heart disease in others, a person’s frequency of anger and anxiety should also be assessed and be part of helping individuals to take care of themselves.

“Our message to people is they need to be aware that a burst of severe anger or anxiety could lead to a coronary event, so consider preventative strategies where possible,” Dr Tofler said.

The study is published in the European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care.

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