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Beware -- angry outbursts could actually give you a heart attack!

A new meta analysis of previous studies suggests that people who're prone to angry outbursts are more prone to heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular problems in the next two-hour time frame.

Written by Nirmalya Dutta |Updated : February 19, 2015 4:51 PM IST

Anger and heart diseaseA new meta analysis of previous studies suggests that people who're prone to angry outbursts are more prone to heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular problems in the next two-hour time frame. In fact, five episodes of anger in a day results in 158 extra heart attacks per 10000 people (low cardiovascular risk) whereas the same amount could result in 567 extra heart attacks per 10000 people among those with a high heart disease risk.

The Harvard School of Public Health says that while one single outburst anger is relatively lesss dangerous, the risk goes up with more outburst. In fact, some researchers believe that rage may be the trigger for heart attacks and there was a heightened risk in the next two hours. The meta-analysis found in the two hours immediately after feeling angry, a person's risk of a heart attack increased nearly five-fold (4.74%), the risk of stroke increased more than three-fold (3.62%).

Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation Doireann Maddock added, 'This research found that people's risk of heart attack and stroke increased for a short time after they lost their temper. It's not clear what causes this effect. It may be linked to the physiological changes that anger causes to our bodies, but more research is needed to explore the biology behind this.'

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Other than being risky for the heart anger has several other negative effects:

It literally makes your blood boil

While most scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how anger raises your blood pressure it has been seen that anger and hostility activates the evolutionarily innate 'fight or flight response' in most humans which leads to increased adrenaline and cortisol which pumps you're your heart rate. This in turn leads to increased blood pressure and the problem is compounded by blood vessels constricting. [3]Read about the the herbal remedies for hypertension.

It can seriously impair your judgement

One of the major problems when you're angry is that you cognitive skills get impaired, that your mental health gets affected. It makes the consequences look insignificant and you can actually process less information. It makes you more prejudiced about others and hinders your analytical skills. This often leads you doing things that you wouldn't in normal circumstances and will cause you to regret your actions when you look back. [4]

It can actually give you headache

When you're angry, stress causes your neck and scalp muscles to tense up which causes a tight band-like sensation around the head which causes something the medicos like to call a tension headache. You can fix this issue by a simply massaging your head and taking deep breaths. [5]

It can make your seriously depressed

It's still not clear whether anger causes depression or vice-versa but those suffering from depression tend to display bouts of anger from time to time. It also leads to all the aforementioned physiological conditions which can only aggravate the chances of getting depressed. Angeralso leads to insomnia and stress; things that are likelier to make you depressed. [6]That's why it's far better to control your anger. Read why understand depression is half the battle won.

Read more about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of stress.

Also read these read these related articles on stress and anger:

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