NEW DELHI: Are you extremely short tempered and irritable? Do you scream and swear often? It's time you watched your heart. For, doctors say being a "cool dude" can be immensely beneficial to your heart.
Researches show that hot-headed and grouchy people face a three-fold increased risk of heart disease than their cooler peers though science is yet to point out the exact connection between anger and heart attack. Experts say it's because anger triggers an excessive release of stress hormones, increased oxygen demand by the heart's muscle cells and causes platelets (which are the blood cells that form clots) to get sticky causing blockage and a heart attack.
Anger increases blood pressure, heart beat rates and adrenalin levels. It constricts blood vessels and makes the heart especially reactive to further stress. Peeyush Jain of Escorts Heart Research Centre told TOI: "Studies have found that men with high levels of anger experienced three times more coronary events. Suppressed anger is in fact a more significant predictor of a major cardiac event." Anil Bhan of Max Hospital said the daily rat race had increased stress levels of India's younger population. "Stress is expressed through anger which in turn causes heart diseases. Healthy people prone to anger have higher levels of a substance linked to narrowing of the arteries called C-reactive protein (CRP).
This protein is released in the body in response to the inflammation caused by stress," he said. According to experts, anger is bad for any age and stress accounts for over 50% of heart attacks. There is an independent association between anger and CRP regardless of other risk factors like the patient's weight, BP, cholesterol levels, alcohol use and exercise status.
Anger also speeds up atherosclerosis, the corrosive process that damages artery walls and puts one at risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Doctors say patients suffering from excessive anger must practise self-help. "Those with a short temper should know that there's no point in becoming angry over traffic jams, demanding bosses or a baseless argument. One must try not to raise one's voice, abstain from cursing and practice conscious smiling." Patients must identify the things that bother them most. They also must learn to recognise warning signs of building tension like a racing pulse and fast breathing and take steps to relieve the tension when these signs appear.
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