Think about this the next time someone cuts you off in traffic or in a grocery store line: Anger can bring on a heart attack or stroke. Most anger research has focused on men, so whether the same risk applies to women remains unknown. A Harvard study, published in August, concluded that men who showed high hostility at the start of the eight-year investigation exhibited significantly poorer lung function at the end of it.
Over the years, then, anger increases a man's and, probably less so, a woman's chances of heart disease. In an evaluation of 200 stroke patients in Israel, researchers linked a bout of intense anger to a 14-fold increase in risk of stroke within two hours of the emotional incident.
Results from a study published this year found that of more than 2,500 patients treated in emergency rooms in Missouri hospitals, about 500 of them were torn by anger just before the injury.
Anger comes in many doses: annoyance, irritability, frustration, vexation, resentment, animosity, ire, indignation, wrath, and rage, for example.
Simon adds more advice in the September issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch, which he edits. Another possible resource involves evidence that some antidepressants may help protect against a broken heart. Use this short screening test to help determine if you should seek help (diagnosis and treatment) for anger problems. NOTE: If you suspect that you have an anger management problem you should seek help from a health professional regardless of how you score on this screening test.
When someone says or does something that upsets me, I don’t usually say anything at the time, but later spend a lot of time thinking up cutting replies I could and should have made. People really irritate me when they don’t behave the way they should, or when they act like they don’t have the good sense of a head of lettuce. If I get really upset about something, I have a tendency to feel sick later, either with a weak spell, headache, upset stomach, or diarrhea.
When I get angry, frustrated or hurt, I comfort myself by eating or using alcohol or other drugs.
I've gotten so angry at times that I've become physically violent, hitting other people or breaking things.


I’m a really angry person, and I know I need help learning to control my temper and angry feelings because it has already caused me a lot of problems. Someone cut you off during rush hour and almost gave you a heart attack, you've spent the morning arguing with your insurance company and the landlord just called you to raise the rent. Women's anger is more likely to be unjustified, while men's anger usually has a good justification.
Women are more likely to become angry with those around them, while men are more likely to become angry at the world at large and inanimate objects. Anger in women is more likely triggered by their close relationships, such as when they feel let down by family members and friends. What part of the brain controls reasoning and tempers the amygdala's response to an anger trigger?
The frontal lobe, or the part of the brain that's over the left eye, controls reasoning and keeps an angry person from throwing a vase across the room. He suffered a brain injury that demonstrated the importance of the frontal lobe in controlling rage. Phineas Gage was a mild-mannered railroad worker until he suffered an accident in which a rod went through his skull, right above the left eye. Acetylcholine tempers the more severe effects of adrenaline, essentially turning off the anger.
Acetylcholine transmits messages between the amygdala and the frontal lobe about the anger trigger. In a study of almost 13,000 subjects, individuals with the highest levels of anger had a higher risk of heart attack compared to those with the lowest levels of anger.
The study found that individuals with the highest level of anger had three times the risk of heart attack, as well as twice the risk of coronary heart disease, as individuals with the lowest levels of anger. Those in anger management classes learn how to defuse anger triggers and express anger in a healthy way.
Anger requires a mental component that many scientists think that animals aren't capable of. One study of 1,305 men with an average age of 62 revealed that the angriest men were three times more likely to develop heart disease than the most placid ones.


One study, published in 1995, found that, during two hours after an angry outburst, a individual's risk of having a heart attack was more than twice that of someone who had not lost their cool. But, what about a single burst of rage, the guy who cuts in front of you just before the exit ramp?
A 2002 study reported that stress management classes can protect men from anger-induced heart problems, and individual counseling may be even better. Please indicate whether each question is TRUE or FALSE as a description of you during the past year. You're so angry that you can't get any more work done at all today, so you've come to HowStuffWorks to spend the rest of the afternoon doing quizzes. Men are more likely to be angered by strangers, objects that aren't working correctly and larger societal issues. This method of anger expression is overwhelmingly observed in women, who may feel that society frowns on angry women. Animals are likely expressing fear, a primary emotion, rather than anger, a secondary emotion which requires attributing blame. Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine tracked 1,055 medical students for 36 years.
The answer apparently is "yes." In the Harvard study of 1,623 patients, which included 501 women, intensive anger more than doubled their risk of heart attack if the emotion occurred in the two hours previous to the heart attack. Harvard researchers recently found that a single low-dose (81 mg) pill can reduce anger-caused heart attacks by 40 percent. Compared with cooler heads, the hotheads were six times more likely to suffer heart attacks by age 55 and three times more likely to develop any form of heart or blood vessel disease. In other words, a daily aspirin may cut the risk of breaking an angry heart by almost half. Wait a few seconds when you feel on outburst coming on then try to express yourself calmly.



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