Study Finds Regular Anger Linked to Higher Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke

A recent study suggests that frequent anger could pose serious risks to heart health, potentially leading to heart disease and stroke.

New research suggests that frequent anger may pose serious risks to heart health, potentially increasing the likelihood of heart disease. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, repeated feelings of anger can impair the ability of blood vessels to open properly. This vascular impairment, identified as a precursor to long-term damage leading to heart attack and stroke, was highlighted by the National Institutes of Health, which funded the study.

The study, conducted by researchers from Columbia University Irving Medical Center, St. John’s University in New York, and other institutions, involved 280 healthy adults aged 18 to 73 in the New York City area. Participants, who had no history of smoking, medication use, or diagnosed mood disorders, were divided into four groups and tasked with inducing anger, sadness, anxiety, or maintaining a neutral emotional state.

Blood flow changes in the participants’ dominant arm vessels were measured before, during, and after the tasks. The study found that the ability of blood vessels to dilate was reduced in the anger group compared to the control group. Interestingly, the groups experiencing anxiety or sadness did not exhibit the same effects.

While the study did not delve into the specific reasons for anger’s impact on blood vessel function, Dr. Daichi Shimbo, a cardiologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and lead researcher, suggested that factors such as changes in stress hormones or activation of the autonomic nervous system could be influencing the phenomenon.

Future research aims to explore additional mechanisms behind these effects and investigate whether positive emotions may have a beneficial impact on heart health or potentially counteract the negative effects of anger.

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