Elevated CVD Risk After Angry Outbursts

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Findings show that the two hours after an outburst have heightened risk.
Findings show that the two hours after an outburst have heightened risk.

There is a heightened risk of cardiovascular events in the hours following an angry outburst, according to research published online 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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