Impact of Anger on Heart Health Revealed in Latest Research

Impact of Anger on Heart Health Revealed in Latest Research
Impact of Anger on Heart Health Revealed in Latest Research. Credit | Shutterstock

United States – The same feeling of unhappiness narrows unhealthy vessels and raises the person’s probability of cardiac illness for a long period, the most recent research suggests.

“If you are a person with constant anger, it is as though the blood vessels in your body are chronic and continue to suffer injuries,” said the study leader, Dr. Daichi Shimbo, who is a cardiologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, as reported by HealthDay.

Insights from Experimental Observations

They did experiments in which the blood vessels were observed in angry people compared with people who had sad, neutral, or angry emotions.

They discovered that an irritable mood corresponded to a short-term decrease in blood vessel dilatation (relaxation), which took place in a normal manner. For about 40 minutes after the expression of anger had finished, I continued to feel the effects.

Anger Management as a Preventative Measure

“We’ve long suspected, based on observational studies, that anger can negatively affect the heart. This study in healthy adults helps fill a real knowledge gap and shows how this might occur,” asserted Laurie Friedman Donze. She’s a psychologist assigned to the Clinical Applications and Prevention Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which funded the study.

The research “also opens the door to promoting anger management interventions as a way to potentially help stave off heart disease, the leading cause of death in this country.”

Study Findings and Participant Profile

The study, which involved 280 healthy adult New York City residents under the age of 74, was published on May 1st in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The group was full of the ‘young ones’—around the age of 26—and they did not have any history of heart disease or major heart risk factors like hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes.

The participants were all the time measured for the changes in their artery diameter in their dominant arms and, later on, were asked to do some self-related things that elicited the different emotional states — anger, sadness, anxiety, or the absence of these emotions (the control group).

Exploring Mechanisms and Future Directions

Shimbo’s team demonstrated that proper blood vessel relaxation was hampered when people were excited.

This phenomenon occurred only in people having anxiety or grief, as was noticed.

The investigators found an even more threatening predisposition to a likely narrowing of the arteries because of the deposition of fats, known as atherogenesis. It’s likely to increase the chance of an attack of the heart and a stroke.

“It’s these chronic [anger-linked] injuries over time that may eventually cause irreversible effects on vascular health and eventually increase your heart disease risk,” Shimbo said in an NHLBI news release.

It is not known yet whether anger worsens blood vessel dilation. It could definitely stimulate the autonomic nervous system, stress hormones, or inflammation of the arteries, he suggested. He added that only further research would reveal the precise mechanisms.

Could the psychological changes caused by positive emotions, such as joy or laughter, counteract the negative influence of anger on the heart? In addition, the answer to this question will also be found in future research.

While waiting for the results, we always suggest a form of anger management that is perfect for both mental and physical health, as reported by HealthDay.

Activities such as yoga, deep breathing, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are all ways that may lead to a less overwhelming life.