Higher Cardiovascular Events Risk After Outbursts of Anger

Findings show that, compared to other times, the two hours after an outburst have heightened risk

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is a heightened risk of cardiovascular events in the hours following an angry outburst, according to research published online March 3 in the European Heart Journal.

Elizabeth Mostofsky, Sc.D., from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of studies (January 1966 to June 2013) evaluating whether outbursts of anger are associated with the short-term risk of heart attacks, strokes, and disturbances in cardiac rhythm. Inverse-variance-weighted random-effect models were used to calculate the incidence rate ratios.

The researchers found nine independent case-crossover studies of anger outbursts and acute myocardial infarction/acute coronary syndromes (four studies), ischemic stroke (two studies), ruptured intracranial aneurysm (one study), and ventricular arrhythmia (two studies). Although there was substantial heterogeneity between the studies, there was a higher rate of cardiovascular events in the two hours following outbursts of anger, compared with other times.

"There is a higher risk of cardiovascular events shortly after outbursts of anger," the authors write.

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