Another reason to deal with the stress of anger? The head-heart connection. Results of a study of people with heart problems suggest a strong link between intense anger and sudden death. Research conducted by Dr. Rachel Lampert of Yale University and reported in the current issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology studied patients with preexisting heart disease as they recounted something that had made them angry. The findings? Anger caused electrical changes, arrhythmias, in the heart. People who showed this EKG ‘anger spike’ were 10 times more likely to have their defibrillators fire a life saving shock in the next three years than similarly ill patients whose hearts didn’t react to anger.
Studies to determine whether anger-reducing techniques help high-risk patients avoid irregular heartbeats are underway. And this study didn’t address heart-healthy patients. But maybe working on letting go of anger’s not a bad idea for all of us? C’mon back soon for anger management class, ok?
Copyright © 2009 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.