United States: In the latest update, the researchers of Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Yale School of Medicine, St. John’s University in New York, and other institutions have been working to find out why previous research suggests a link between an acute episode of anger and an increased risk of heart attack. 

How did the researchers conduct the study? 

In order to perform the study, the researchers added 280 healthy adults, who were chosen randomly and grouped into four groups- a control group that counted out loud flexibly for eight minutes and had a neutral emotional state, and groups that remembered a happy (positive), sad or angry (negative) event, as NBS News reported. 

As the initial working up and every 100th minutes afterwards, blood samples and studies for blood flow and pressure were carried out. 

The study results released on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that anger actually may hamper the cardiovascular system because it disrupts the functioning of blood vessels. 

The researchers witnessed that dilation of blood vessels’ had remarkably reduced in the mean blood of angry group, as compared with people in the control in the study. 

Link Found Between Acute Anger Episodes to Reduced Blood Vessel Function. Credit | Unsplash
Link Found Between Acute Anger Episodes to Reduced Blood Vessel Function. Credit | Unsplash

Tailoring is possible as the endothelial cells consisting of the wall of arteries can adjust the level of dilation. Vessels change their size through the contraction and dilation process, which gradually stops the flow of blood or aids in increasing the flow of the blood parts that need it. 

Consequently, investigations identified that these agents did not affect the endothelial cells and all their capacities for repair. 

The only problem was the dilation, the group pointed out. The blood vessel dilation impairment is an initial event of atherosclerosis that is the fatty deposits on the arteries wall blocking its walls and making the arteries rigid. Atherosclerosis is the etiology of coronary heart disease, stroke, kidney disorders, etc. 

Andrea Duran, a co-author and an assistant professor of medical sciences at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, said, “That is why endothelium-dependent vasodilation is an important mechanism to study,” as NBC News reported. 

Middlekauff, who was not part of the study stated, “It’s not widely known or widely accepted that anger does precipitate heart attacks,” and, “This study offers a biological plausibility to that theory, that anger is bad for you, that it raises your blood pressure, that we’re seeing impaired vascular health.” 

Link Found Between Acute Anger Episodes to Reduced Blood Vessel Function. Credit | GETTY IMAGES
Link Found Between Acute Anger Episodes to Reduced Blood Vessel Function. Credit | GETTY IMAGES

More about the findings of the research 

The paper published stated various factors, which might be at work, including changes caused by stress hormones, increased inflammation and activation of the autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary processes like heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. 

Moreover, the researchers deliberately chose a selected number of participants who were healthy and without any heart-related ailments or chronic diseases. 

Rebecca Campo, a psychologist and program director at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, said, “This was just the first step,” as NBC News reported. 

Therefore, further research must be looking at “populations with cardiovascular disease, with diabetes and at people who live in rural settings and ethnic and racial minorities.” 

She added, “I’d like to see a study of a group of chronically angry people and see what their vascular function is,” as NBC News reported. 


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