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Anger and Your Heart

Timeless Health Tip

Angry, hostile men and women are more likely to develop heart disease and suffer heart attacks.

What the Research Says

From a Harvard study of 1,623 patients, which included 501 women, intensive anger more than doubled their risk of heart attack if the emotion occurred in the two hours previous to the heart attack.

Another Harvard study of 1,305 men with an average age of 62 revealed that the angriest men were three times more likely to develop heart disease than the most placid ones.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine tracked 1,055 medical students for 36 years. Compared with those with a calm demeanor, the "angry" were six times more likely to suffer heart attacks by age 55 and three times more likely to develop any form of heart or blood vessel disease.

Angry Person People prone to hostility have high levels of homocysteine - a blood chemical linked with heart disease.

Another Harvard study suggested that men who showed high hostility at the start of the 8-year investigation exhibited significantly poorer lung function, which indicated anger is also associated with poorer lung function and more rapid rates of decline among older men.

High stress can also increase homocysteine levels, but folic acid other B vitamins can help keep them in a healthy range.

Middle-aged people who get angry easily - - even those with normal blood pressure levels -- are at significant risk of developing and/or dying from heart and blood vessel disease.

And last but certainly not least, even the Bible suggest we refrain from anger: "So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting." (Ecclesiastes 11:10)

Reduce the Risks

One way that may help reduce risk: Harvard researchers found that a single low-dose (81 mg) aspirin pill can reduce anger-caused heart attacks by 40 percent. In other words, a daily aspirin may cut the risk of breaking an angry heart by almost half. Recommended: Bayer Aspirin Regimen Low Dose 81mg Enteric Coated Tablets.

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