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Study: Anger Can Lead To More Heart Attacks
Updated March 5, 2014 6:58 AM | Filed under: Science
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(UNDATED) - Don't get too angry. You may not turn into the Incredible Hulk, but you might cause yourself to have a heart attack.

New research from Harvard University shows that an outburst of anger can increase your risk of a heart attack more than five times in the two hours following the outburst. The risk of a stroke goes up three fold within that time period.

"It is certainly much more likely in those who have pre-existing conditions or risk factors for heart disease, such as hypertension, smoking or diabetes," said Dr. Edward Fry, a cardiologist with St. Vincent Heart Center in Indianapolis.

A team at Harvard looked at studies on anger and heart problems conducted between 1966 and 2013. They found that one additional heart attack per year for every 10,000 people could be expected among those who have an angry outburst once a month and who were not considered at high risk for a heart attack.

For people who had more frequent bouts of anger, up to five times per day, an average of 158 heart attacks per 10,000 people could take place among the low risk population, with that rising to 657 for those at high risk of heart problems.

Dr. Fry says the increase in adrenaline is a problem. "The adrenaline causes the heart to work harder, it causes blood vessels to constrict, and causes the blood cells involved in clotting, the platelets, to become stickier at the time that's going on."

The study was published in the European Heart Journal.

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