To Your Health
December, 2010 (Vol. 04, Issue 12)
An Angry Heart Is an Unhealthy Heart
By Editorial Staff
Yep, we said it, and if you're angered by what we've said, then you're one of the people this message is intended to reach.
An angry heart is indeed an unhealthy heart, according to a recent study that links "destructive anger justification" with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
The study, published in the American Heart Journal earlier this year, evaluated 785 men and women (46-92 years of age) who were free of cardiovascular disease at baseline, determining how they dealt with anger in videotaped interviews. Three types of anger were rated: "constructive anger" (discussing their anger to resolve the situation), destructive anger justification (blaming others for one's anger) and "destructive anger rumination" (brooding over an anger-inducing incident).
Results showed that in 10 years of follow-up, study participants (men and women) who displayed destructive anger justification were more than 30 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Lower levels of constructive anger were also associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (men only).
It's natural to get angry sometimes, but the way we deal with it can have major consequences, as this study suggests. So, how do you deal with anger? If a person or situation makes you angry, do you talk it out (with the person who inspired your anger or with a friend, etc., if a situation made you angry) or do you brood about it silently? Either way, processing it seems to be healthier than the third option mentioned in the study - simply blaming someone else for your anger, which probably makes you even more angry! And that's not good for you or your heart.