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Feelings of anger can harm blood vessel function, study says

Have you ever felt like your anger was coursing through your veins? Well, that's not far from the truth, according to new research.

Feelings of anger adversely affect blood vessel health, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“This study aimed to find out 'why does this happen?'” he said.

In the randomized trial, researchers divided 280 participants and gave them a task that made them remember feelings of anger, sadness, anxiety or neutrality for eight minutes.

Before and several times after the task, the researchers measured the subjects' vascular health.

“There have been some studies in the past that have linked feelings of anger, feelings of anxiety and feelings of sadness to the risk of heart disease in the future,” said study lead author Dr. Daichi Shimbo, professor of medicine in the division of cardiology from Columbia University in New York City.

The sadness and anxiety tasks did not show a significant change in these markers compared to the neutral task, but anger did, Shimbo said.

“It appears that the adverse effects of rabies on health and disease may be due to its adverse effects on vascular health, the health of the blood vessels themselves,” he said.

While the new research isn't the first study to establish a connection between emotions and cardiovascular impacts, it sheds light on how that connection operates, said Dr. Joe Ebinger, associate professor of cardiology and director of clinical analytics at Cedars' Smidt Heart Institute. -Sinai in Los Angeles. He was not involved in the research.

“This is one of the first well-done randomized, placebo-controlled studies that has really shown us that there are changes in our vasculature that occur acutely in response to the emotions that we are feeling,” Ebinger said.

How 40 minutes can turn into a longer-lasting problem

Researchers in this study looked at three main ways in which rabies affected blood vessel health, Shimbo said.

First, it made it harder for blood vessels to dilate in response to ischemia, or a restriction, he said. Rabies also affected cellular markers of injury and their ability to repair themselves, Shimbo said.

After the eight-minute task designed to induce anger, impacts on blood vessels were observed for up to 40 minutes, he said.

This may not seem so bad on its own, but Shimbo said we should worry about a cumulative effect.

“We speculate that if you are a person who gets angry repeatedly, you are chronically damaging your blood vessels,” he said. “We haven’t studied this, but we speculate that these types of chronic rabies insults may lead to chronic adverse effects on blood vessels.”

Don't swallow your anger

Another question that the study did not investigate, but which should be asked next, is: What do you do about it?

Anger is a human emotion, and you can't and shouldn't avoid it completely, Ebinger said.

The best approach is to learn to process angry feelings without letting them fester, said Dr. Brett Ford, associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough, in a previous article in CNN .

Ask yourself, “What might be interfering with your energy or thoughts? What are you protecting yourself from? What do you need and aren’t being met?” said Deborah Ashway, a licensed clinical mental health counselor based in New Bern, North Carolina. Neither Ford nor Ashway were involved in the study.

“And then once you're aware of it, you're in control of it. It’s not going to control you now,” she said, adding that this is the place from which you can decide how to move forward.

This latest study on how anger affects the body could help encourage people who experience a lot of anger to seek behavioral therapies, Shimbo said.

Perhaps there are ways, such as exercise or medication, to treat the adverse effects of anger on blood vessels, he speculated.

“Understanding that the mechanism is there is the first step to helping treat it,” Ebinger said. “This is not about denying anger. We will all experience anger, but (it’s about) finding ways for us to be able to control it and minimize it.”

Being satisfied with life improves heart health, study says

Source: CNN Brasil

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