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Scientists Have Found That Anger May Be Particularly Harmful To One’s Health



Although negative emotions are typically thought to be unhealthy, US researchers explain that short bursts of fury may change the way blood vessels work, suggesting that rage may be especially damaging. Consequently, there is a higher chance of heart disease and stroke linked to this defect.

Whether at work, on the road, in a relationship, or just in general in our daily lives, there are a lot of situations that might make us feel angry. According to the most recent scientific study on the topic, these outbursts of rage may be detrimental to our general health in addition to the stress and anxiety they might cause. US scientists carefully examined the impact of various negative emotions, such as melancholy, anxiety, and anger, on blood vessel function in comparison to an emotion that might be regarded as neutral. Finding out if these specific emotions might eventually contribute to various cardiovascular illnesses was the goal.

In order to conduct this study, 280 participants were assigned at random to participate in an eight-minute “emotional task.” Every participant was asked to read a sequence of dismal sentences linked with sadness, count continuously up to 100, recollect a personal memory that had made them angry, or recall a personal memory connected with anxiety. The researchers anticipated a neutral feeling in the latter situation. Additionally, the scientists examined the blood vessel linings of the subjects both before and after giving them these particular tasks: baseline, 3 minutes, 40 minutes, 70 minutes, and 100 minutes after the task was completed.

Anger May Have An Impact On Cardiac Health

The results, which were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, show that memories that cause angry episodes can change blood vessel dilatation. This happened anywhere from 0 to 40 minutes following the completion of the “emotional task.” The aforementioned abnormality vanished after that moment. The risk of heart disease and stroke may therefore rise as a result of this modification. On the other hand, acts or memories associated with melancholy and anxiety did not have the same impact. “We saw that evoking an angered state led to blood vessel dysfunction, though we don’t yet understand what may cause these changes,” says study lead author, Daichi Shimbo, a professor of medicine at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, quoted in a news release.

Researchers have previously found a connection between dissatisfaction, or negative feelings, and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and related events. A study that used data from over 6.5 million adults between the ages of 20 and 39 and was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology just over a year ago revealed that individuals with mental disorders of any kind had a 58% and 42% higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke, respectively, compared to other research participants. Recent studies conducted by American scientists have shown that stress brought on by contaminated air can raise the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

The Significance Of Mental Health

Glenn Levine, M.D., FAHA, chair of the scientific statement’s writing committee, master clinician, professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, chief of the cardiology department at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, and author of the study, says, “This adds nicely to the growing evidence base that mental well-being can affect cardiovascular health and that intense acute emotional states, such as anger or stress.” For example, we know that deep depression or other similar emotions are frequently associated with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Similarly, stressful events like earthquakes or simply watching a global football tournament can cause myocardial infarction and/or arrhythmias.

Finding the mechanisms by which different emotional states—including anger—can have a major influence on people’s cardiovascular health globally will be one of the researchers’ next goals.


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