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Being Angry All the Time Hurts Heart

Chronic Anger May Be Tipping Point to Heart Disease in Some Men
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 25, 2007 -- Fuming or furious frequently? Learning to soothe your chronic anger may help your heart.

A new report shows that having a short fuse may shorten the path to heart disease in men with prehypertension (blood pressure above normal but less than the high blood pressure range).

So the researchers, who work at the Medical University of South Carolina, reason that those men may do their hearts a favor by learning to tame their chronic anger.

The same might be true of women, but it's going to take further studies to be certain of that. Meanwhile, there's no downside to healthy anger management.

Data came from 2,334 U.S. adults aged 48-67. They were followed for four to eight years during the 1990s.

Compared with less angry men, chronically angry men with prehypertension were moderately more likely to develop high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart disease during the study.

The same wasn't true of women, perhaps because few women developed heart disease during the study, note Marty Player, MD, colleagues.

For men and women alike, long-term psychological stress was linked to heart disease.

The results didn't change when the researchers factored in participants' age, sex, race, smoking status, and LDL ("bad") cholesterol.

However, Player's team couldn't control for every conceivable risk factor for heart disease.

The study appears in the current edition of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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