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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Anger link to heart attack

Tuesday February 24th, 2015

People who suffer intense anger face a massively increased risk of heart attack, researchers warned today.

The risk lasts for up to two hours after the outbreak of anger - and is 8.5 times the normal risk, according to a new study.

Researchers said the findings applied to "acute episodes" of anger - not to the usual pattern of anger.

Researchers studied more than 300 patients in Sydney, Australia, after a heart attack had been confirmed by angiography.

They found that seven of the patients had reached a level five of anger in the two hours before symptoms began.

The researchers sought to identify how unusual these outbursts of anger were in the patients' lives - using this to work out the increased risk.

The findings are reported in European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care.

Researcher Dr Thomas Buckley, from the University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia, said the findings showed that anger management should be part of the care of heart patients.

He said: "While the absolute risk of any one anger episode triggering a heart attack is low, our data demonstrates that the danger is real and still there.

"Potential preventive approaches may be stress reduction training to limit the responses of anger and anxiety, or avoiding activities that usually prompt such intense reactions. And for those at very high risk, one could potentially consider protective medication therapy at the time of or just prior to an episode, a strategy we have shown to be feasible in other studies.

"Minimising other risk factors, such as hypertension or smoking, would also lower risk."

Triggering of acute coronary occlusion by episodes of anger. Eur Heart J Acute Cardiovasc Care 24 February 2015; doi: 10.1177/2048872615568969

Tags: Australia | Heart Health | Mental Health

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