Throwing a fit may help you release pent-up negativity, but a new study featured on NBC News reports that giving in to rage may also be unhealthy and may even lead to heart attacks.

Together with her colleagues, Elizabeth Mostofsky, a postdoctoral fellow with the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Harvard Medical School in Boston, examined 3,886 heart attack patients to see the effects of rage on cardiovascular health. The patients were surveyed about their diet, lifestyles, and certain events that occurred a year prior to the attack.

The results showed that 1,484 of the participants had episodes of extreme anger the year before, and that 110 of them were enraged only a couple of hours before their heart attacks. According to the researchers, the risk of having an attack was highest within two hours of the outburst and continuously increased the angrier the participants got.

While the study does not prove that anger directly causes heart attack, researchers believe that rage, which is known to release the body's stress chemicals epinephrine and norepinephrine, raises blood pressure, quickens the pulse, and increases the risk of blood clots--symptoms which may be linked to heart attacks.


(Screencap from Silver Linings Playbook courtesy of The Weinstein Company)

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