Anger May Lead to Increased Heart Health Risks
Anger is joining the list of many characteristics that may lead to increased heart disease risk.People who react to challenging situations with anger instead of calm may have higher risk of heart disease risk, U.S. researchers suggest.
Dr. Judith Carroll of the University of Pittsburgh says the study involved healthy middle-age individuals asked to complete a speech in front of video camera and a panel of judges. During their speech, the study subjects monitored their physical responses and afterward they were asked about their emotions.
"People who reported high levels of anger and anxiety after performing a laboratory-based stress task showed greater increases in a marker of inflammation, than those who remained relatively calm," Carroll says in a statement.
"This could help explain why some people with high levels of stress experience chronic health problems."
Most people show increases in heart rate and blood pressure when they complete a stressful task, but some also show increases in a circulating marker of inflammation known as "interleukin-6," Carroll says.
"Our results raise the possibility that individuals who become angry or anxious when confronting relatively minor challenges in their lives are prone to increases in inflammation," lead author Dr. Anna Marsland of the University of Pittsburgh says.
"Over time, this may render these emotionally reactive individuals more vulnerable to inflammatory diseases, such as cardiovascular disease."
The findings are published in the journal External link Brain, Behavior and Immunity.