Study: Anger could be deadly for some

November 13, 2006

A study presented at a Chicago conference has suggested that intense anger could cause death in some heart patients.

The study, presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions in Chicago, analyzed data from heart patients who had been implanted with cardioverter defibrillators, which deliver jolts of electricity to patients' hearts when they go off-rhythm, ABC News reported Monday.

The study's authors said the rhythm disturbances could be life threatening if not treated with a shock.

The researchers said 199 of the subjects reported receiving shocks from the implants, and of those, 7.5 percent of the shocks were preceded by at least a moderate level of anger.

"We found that it was 3.2 times more likely for (ventricular fibrillation) or (ventricular tachycardia) to develop (prompting a shock from the ICD) after the participant became at least moderately angry, as compared to periods of no anger," said Dr. Christine Albert, lead author of the study and director of the Center for Arrhythmia Prevention at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "If they were very angry, or furious, there was about a 16.7-fold increased risk of having the ICD shock for these life-threatening rhythm disturbances."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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