Findings of a new study give another reason why you should avoid losing your temper and keep your cool even if you're under stressful situations. In a new study, researchers have found that angry outbursts can increase your risks of having a heart attack.
In the study "Outbursts of anger as a trigger of acute cardiovascular events: a systematic review and meta-analysis" published in the European Heart Journal March 3, researchers reviewed the findings of several studies conducted from January 1966 to June 2013, which involved cases of heart attacks, acute coronary syndrome, heart rhythm problems and strokes.
The researchers found that a person's risks of heart attack increases almost five times within two hours following an angry outburst. Risks of stroke as well as of dangerous heart rhythm disorder and acute coronary syndrome also increase. The researchers have likewise observed that the risk is highest among those who get angry more often and who already have risk factors such as prior heart problems.
"A person with pre-existing heart disease or cardiovascular disease, the absolute risk they are incurring is much greater than (that of) a person without cardiovascular disease or risk factors," said study author Murray Mittleman, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "If we look at somebody at higher risk for having cardiovascular events, and they get angry multiple times a day, this can lead to 650 extra heart attacks per year out of 10, 000 a year. "
Mariell Jessup, president of the American Heart Association explained that anger prompts changes and disruptions in the body that result in the brain or the heart not getting the right amount of blood and oxygen causing a heart attack or stroke.
"Anger causes our heart rate to increase through the sympathetic nervous system and causes our stress hormones to become elevated (the fight or flight mechanism)," Jessup said. "We breathe faster, all of which may trigger undesirable reactions in our blood pressure or in our arteries."
Learning how to cope up with stressful situation can apparently help in controlling anger. Doireann Maddock, a cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, suggested ways of managing stress and anger.
"Learning how to relax can help you move on from high-pressure situations. Many people find that physical activity can help to let off steam after a stressful day," she said. "If you think you are experiencing harmful levels of stress or frequent anger outbursts talk to your GP."