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Anger linked with heart disease, study suggests

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A recent study suggests that men with high levels of anger may be at a greater disk of developing hypertension and coronary heart disease. The study measured "trait anger," which refers to a tendency to react with anger towards a large variety of situations. It focused on prehypertensive middle-aged men with this trait. 2,334 men and women between the ages of 45 and 64 found that long-term stress in general is associated with a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Specifically, researchers found that men with high trait anger scores had 1.7 times greater odds for developing hypertension than those with low or moderate scores, and high trait anger scores were associated with a 90 percent increase in the risk of progression to coronary heart disease in prehypertensive men.

Moreover, both men and women with high levels of long-term psychological stress had 1.68 times greater odds for developing coronary heart disease than those with low or moderate stress.

The authors suggest that treatment of anger and psychological stress may have a beneficial effect on slowing progression of prehypertension to hypertension and coronary heart disease (American Academy of Family Physicians, 2007).

American Academy of Family Physicians. (2007, October 1). Anger and Stress Contribute To Coronary Heart Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926192112.htm

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