The staff at New York University School of Medicine analyzed a number of scientific works whose authors tried to find out how anger outbursts in difficult situations are reflected in the work of the heart and brain. The researchers concluded that the absolute risk of heart problems after an anger outburst remains low. However, for some people who find it difficult to hold back at the time of stress, the risk of cardiac or cerebral diseases can be very real. Analysis of many studies showed that the risk is still significantly higher as compared to that during periods of peace.
According to the doctors, there is nothing particularly surprising here, because anger is associated with increased reaction of the nervous system to stress – it is a well-known scientific fact, requiring no proof. This reaction may cause an increased heart rate and blood pressure, which, in some cases, leads to instantaneous negative consequences.
In total, scientists have studied nine reports made from 1966 to 2013. They describe 4,5 thousand cases of heart attacks, 462 cases of acute coronary syndrome (a general term for heart attack and heart pains), more than 800 cases of stroke, and more than 300 cases of cardiac arrhythmias.
Experts have found that, within two hours of emotional outbursts, the risk of heart attack or acute coronary syndrome increased five-fold, and the risk of stroke – four-fold. There also was an increased risk of cardiac and ventricular arrhythmias. Those people who were more likely to express their dissatisfaction as anger outbursts, as well as those who already had heart problems, showed the greatest propensity to heart attacks and strokes. As explained by the doctors, people who are often susceptible to such outbursts accumulate the impact of negative effects and are more likely to have heart or brain problems, as compared with people who react to stress more easily.