Research has suggested that hostility and anger increase the risk for heart disease. A new study published in the American Journal of Cardiology confirms that losing your temper could trigger a heart attack.
The investigators studied nearly 4,000 patients who had heart attacks between 1989 and 1996. Nearly 1500 of them recalled outbursts of anger, often just a few hours before their heart attack occurred. The greater the outpouring of emotion, the higher the risk. People who lost control, threw things or became violent were over 4 times more likely to have a heart attack shortly after the emotional explosion. If people prone to angry outburst realized that they are putting themselves at serious cardiovascular risk, they might learn other ways to manage their distress.
Although the study is new, the link between hostility and heart disease is not. We interviewed Redford Williams, MD, and Virginia Williams, PhD, about this connection and how to manage anger more productively more than seven years ago. Here’s the interview.