Suppressing anger 'ups heart attack risk'

Posted By: Staff
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London, Nov 24 (ANI): A new Swedish research suggests that men who do not vent out their anger on being treated unfairly at workplace are likely to double their chances of having a heart attack.

For the study, researchers assessed 2,755 male employees in Stockholm who had not had a single heart attack.

These workers were asked how they coped up with work related conflicts: whether they expressed their anger or just kept mum, whether they developed headache or stomach ache or took all of it out at home.

These workers were also examined for smoking, drinking, physical activity, education, diabetes, job demands and their free choice to take decisions.

Also, their blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol levels were noted.

All volunteers were averaged 41 years of age when the study started between 1992 and 1995.

By 2003, 47 men suffered a heart attack or died due to heart disease.

It was concluded that men who kept their anger buried inside them had almost double the risk of a heart attack or death from heart disease compared to men who tackled the situation head-on.

However, a headache or stomachache or even flying into rage at home did not augment the risk of heart disease.

According to researchers pent up anger can produce physiological tensions, which increases the blood pressure resulting in damage to the heart.

"There has been research before pointing in this direction but the surprise is that the association between pent-up anger and heart disease was such a strong one," the BBC quoted Dr Constanze Leineweber, lead researcher form the Stress Research Institute in Stockholm, as saying.

Leineweber added: "I think men can't help how they behave in conflict situations - it's not something they think about, it's just how they react instinctively.

"If you are smoking and don't exercise you would be much more conscious of the risk."

"Stress itself is not a risk factor for heart and circulatory disease, but some people's responses to stress, such as smoking or overeating, can increase your risk," Judy O'Sullivan, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said.

"We all find different things stressful and symptoms of stress can vary, but the important thing is that we need to find ways of coping with it in our lives in a positive way, whether at work or home," O'Sullivan added.

The study has appeared in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. (ANI)

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