Bottling up emotions is thought to harm both mind and body, but a new study suggests that doing the opposite may be no better.
In a study of nearly 4,000 heart attack patients, those who recalled having flown into a rage during the previous year were more than twice as likely to have had their heart attack within two hours of that episode, compared to other times during the year.
“There is transiently higher risk of having a heart attack following an outburst of anger,” said study author Elizabeth Mostofsky, a postdoctoral fellow with the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Harvard Medical School.
The greater the fury — including throwing objects and threatening others — the higher the risk, Mostofsky’s team reported in the American Journal of Cardiology.
The data came from patients who were part of a study between 1989 and 1996 to determine what brought on their heart attacks.