ANGER is Associated with Potentially Fatal Heart Arrhythmias

ANGER is Associated with Potentially Fatal Heart Arrhythmias

“Prior studies have shown that anger affects the electrical activity of the heart, making it more prone to dangerous rhythm disturbances” said Christine M Albert, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and Director of the Center for Arrhythmia Prevention at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Researchers study a population of 1.188 patients with the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICDs) from 30 medical centers in US for two years, making it possible to to look for connections between a patient’s self-reported level of anger and the development of life- threatening heart arrhythmias.

The patients were asked to record four level of anger (mild, moderate, very angry, and furious), and asked to call any time when their ICD delivered a shock. They were also asked to record their experience and answer a questionnaire. Their electrocardiograms were stored before, during and after the event. In 199 out of 271 events ICD shocks were delivered in the response to ventricular arrhythmias (VTach) –potentially fatal form of arrhythmias. In about 7.5% these arrhythmias were triggered by moderate degree anger within the hour before the ICD discharge. This is three times (3.2) more often than the average frequency of VTach.

The results suggest that emotions, particularly anger, can trigger dangerous heart arrhythmias. Anger control for heart patients is crucial, but it is also very important message to all of us.

It was also foundthat persons who are going to sleep with chronic intensive anger had much higher risk to wake with heart attacks or not to wake up at all. The expression that ‘I will rather die than forgive” is actually has a deep meaning – if people do not resolve chronic anger they may die for real.

Thus, science confirmed the old wisdom: “if you want to live long – forgive, take thing easy”.

Ref: Neurology Review, March 2007, P. 22-23