Anger's Effect on Heart Health

A new study finds that the risk of heart attack can last hours after being angry.
3:00 | 03/04/14

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Transcript for Anger's Effect on Heart Health
Now, there's news, tonight, about anger and what anger really does to your heart and your health, long after the moment has subsided. There's a big, new study tonight. And it is a wake-up call. So, here's ABC's Maura schiavocam schiavocampo. Reporter: Anger. It can have a powerful effect on our behavior. Cut me off? Reporter: And as it turns out, our bodies. That new study finding losing your temper could lead to a heart attack or stroke. Harvard researchers looked at studies from around the world. And found having an angry outburst makes you almost five-times more likely to have a heart attack. And more than three-times more likely to have a stroke. And it's not just in the moment you blow your top. The risk lingers up to two hours after you become enraged. And even if you hold the hanger inside. Does this confirm what I think people think intuitively that your emotions can have an effect on your physical state and your well-being? I think absolutely. I think your intuition is right, that the mind and the body are connected on various organ systems. Certainly for cardiac. Reporter: Here's what happens. When you scream in anger, brain triggers release of adrenaline into the bloodstream. Raising blood pressure and making it harder for the heart to pump. The more angry outbursts you have, the more you're putting yourself at risk. And the effects are even worse for people with existing heart problems, like cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Adding, it's crucial to cool off in the heat of the moment, by taking deep breaths, walking away from the situation and counting to ten. A cooler head, and a healthier heart.

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