Can Anger Raise The Risk Of Heart Disease?

Just as those happy feelings can act as powerful life extenders, negative emotions can have an opposite affect.

Anger hostility and impatience significantly raise your risk of heart disease. Research suggests a possible link between levels of triglycerides in the blood and personality type.



In the Edingborough study – a random group of 1,592 men and women aged between 55 and 74 years underwent personality tests and had their blood lipid concentrations measured. Those with higher triglycerides, particularly men, were more likely to behave in a hostile and domineering way. An angry personality was associated with a higher risk of peripheral arterial disease and claudication, symptoms of vascular disease in the legs.

A seven year study in the US of 1,300 men found that those who reported the most intense levels of anger were 3 times more likely to have chest pain or heart attacks, or both – than those with the least anger.

What makes hostility so harmful?


Think about what happen when you get really furious. Your face flushes; your hands shake; and you clench up. Internally – the effects are equally profound . As you shake your fist in an act of road rage against another driver – the arteries supplying blood to your heart constrict. Your blood becomes stickier thus more likely to clot. Your blood sugar rises sharply. Surging adrenaline sends your heart soaring.

Repeating the cycle of anger over and over again leads to homocysterine levels, raised cholestorel, high blood pressure, and ultimately heart disease. Likewise – spending each day feeling miserable increases your risk also.

How can I stop increasing my risk of heart disease if I have type ‘A’ personality?


You cannot easily change your personality type but you can try new ways of dealing with your anger or negative emotions. For example – as soon as you start to feel angry and frustrated – take some deep breaths and give yourself time to calm down. This will also allow you time to reassess the situation or let it pass. If you are seriously struggling with depression and negative emotions and you cannot curb these feeling on your own then you may wish to consider visiting your medical doctor for help and support.


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