Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. However, when it gets out of control it can become destructive. Uncontrollable anger can lead to serious problems at work and in personal relationships, and may undermine the individual’s overall quality of life.
Outbursts of anger may trigger heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular problems in the two hours immediately afterwards, according to the first study to systematically evaluate previous research into the link between the extreme emotion and all cardiovascular outcomes.
The study — a systematic review and meta-analysis — published in the European Heart Journal, found that in the two hours immediately after an angry outburst, a person’s risk of a heart attack (myocardial infarction (MI) or acute coronary syndrome (ACS)) increased nearly five-fold (4.74%), the risk of stroke increased more than three-fold (3.62%), and the risk of ventricular arrhythmia also increased compared to other times when they were not angry.
The researchers found that the absolute risk increased if people had existing risk factors such as a previous history of cardiovascular problems, and the more frequently they were angry.