Angry outbursts cause fivefold increase in heart attack risk
The Telegraph Online recently published an article based on the findings of The European Heart Journal who published these results after analysing 18 years-worth of data. The findings of the study suggests you are 5 times more likely to have a heart attack or three times more likely to suffer a stroke within 2 hours of having an outburst of anger. The research specifically relates to people with pre- existing conditions, but can also impact upon those with better health.
The advice given in the Telegraph article was to prescribe medication such as statins and anti- depressants to those at risk. The article suggests the GP is responsible for anger management therapy, claiming that anger is a contributing factor to heart attacks in certain people.
This article was interesting in that it seems to emphasise the need for medication, and doesn't really talk in detail about talking therapies. At the end of the article the article talks about exercise and relaxation, which are excellent at reducing stress, but may need to go hand in hand with counselling.
Counselling can help identify why the person is quick to anger and help to deal with triggers. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can assist in coping more effectively with these feelings and if the health benefits are emphasised, counselling may well become part of the ‘prescription’ when heart health issues are initially identified. Equally, if people are aware that they are prone to anger, they may well think to seek counselling before heart issues are identified, in order to prevent later health problems.
Related articles from our experts
- Acknowledging our difficulties can turn anger and anxiety into self-compassion
Alessio Rizzo, UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist, MA, MSc, MBACP16th April, 2018
- Anger carries a message... do we know what it is?
Alessio Rizzo, UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist, MA, MSc, MBACP15th March, 2018
- Anger management: “How do you transform a raging lion into a purring cat?”
Shane Sneyd MBACP, UKCP & BPC17th February, 2018
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