Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Anger, within the first two hours

I get up early, empty the dishwasher, and people still leave dishes in the sink...I ride the train with a man who invades my personal space, and reeks of last night's party...I get to work with a plan for the day,and it's derailed by the first e-mail...The anger takes control, my teeth and fists clench, my body tenses,
I'm enraged, and ready to...have a heart attack.

According to researchers at the University of Sydney, research shows that heart attack risk increases eight-fold within the two hours following intense anger. During the study, patients admitted with an angiography-confirmed heart attack were questioned about the events within the 48 hours prior to symptom onset.

Nearly 2% of  the patients studied experienced an anger-triggered heart attack. The heart attack didn't typically occur during the anger episode but within the two hours following. Anger was defined as 5 and above on a scale of 1 to 7; patient's reported feeling angry (body tense, fists and teeth clenched, and ready to spiral out of control) to enraged (completely out of control). Extreme anger was triggered by arguments, work anger, and road rage. These triggers are known to increase heart rate and blood pressure, constrict blood vessels, and increase  clotting, which increase the risk for heart attack.

These findings highlight the importance of stress relief and anger management in promoting heart health. Improving overall health by controlling hypertension, quitting smoking, reducing cholesterol, and taking medications, as prescribed, can also reduce the risk...So, be slow to anger...for your heart's sake.

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