Anger Outbursts Can Trigger Heart Attacks, Strokes

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By Roshni Mahesh | March 5, 2014 1:40 AM EST

Losing temper often can take your lives. 

Frequent anger outbursts can place a person at higher risk of heart attack or strokes, claims an American study.

Joy Garnett /Flickr
Frequent anger outbursts can place a person at a higher risk of heart attack or strokes, an American study says.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health looked at nine studies. Results showed an increased risk of cardiovascular events within two hours of an anger outburst. An outburst can increase a person's risk of heart attack by five times and stroke by three times. The risk was found to be comparatively higher among heart patients than healthy people.

Dr Elizabeth Mostofsky and team estimated nearly 158 (and an 657 additional) heart attack events per 10,000 people, associated with five episodes of anger per day, for those who are at lower and higher risk of cardiovascular events respectively, BBC reported.

"Although the risk of experiencing an acute cardiovascular event with any single outburst of anger is relatively low, the risk can accumulate for people with frequent episodes of anger," Dr Mostofsky told BBC.

Researchers said that their study only showed an association between the two and could not actually prove that anger caused these heart events.

The study has been published in the online edition of European Heart Journal.

Similarly, a study reported in 2002 linked anger outbursts to brain dysfunction. According to the researchers, the outbursts may be caused by impairments in a brain region, known as orbital and medial prefrontal cortex circuit.

Unmanaged anger can cause permanent damages to a person's health and put him/her at a higher risk of sleep-related and mental problems, high blood pressure, headache, skin disorders and affect normal function of the digestive system.

Following are some tips from the NHS Choices UK that help manage anger:

  • Use some techniques to cool down. For example, count to 10
  • Breathing exercise - breathe slowly and take more time to exhale than inhaling
  • Exercise regularly - Yoga, swimming, meditation are some of the methods that help relieve stress
  • Sleep properly
  • Find time for relaxing

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(Photo: Joy Garnett /Flickr / )
Frequent anger outbursts can place a person at a higher risk of heart attack or strokes, an American study says.
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