Study: Rage Can Be Fatal

Anger shown to cause irregular heartbeats with the potential for cardiac arrest
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2009 3:00 AM CST
A new study suggests that better anger management could help save the lives of people with heart conditions.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Anger really can kill you, a new study suggests. Researchers monitored the heart patterns of patients suffering from heart conditions and discovered that electrical instability in the heart increased when the patients were asked to relive angry episodes. Those who had the strongest reactions were 10 times more likely to later suffer the irregular heartbeats that can cause sudden cardiac arrest, Reuters reports.

In vulnerable people, "anger really does impact the heart's electrical system in very specific ways that can lead to sudden death," said the lead researcher, whose work is published in the American Journal of Cardiology. She now plans to study whether anger management could help save the lives of at-risk patients.