Brian Sullivan

Research Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology demonstrated that anger can cause arrhythmias, a malfunction in the impulse that sends an electronic signal for your heart to beat. Arrhythmia can cause congestive heart problems or increase the risk of stroke.
Researchers from Yale University School of Medicine examined 62 patients, all with implanted cardioverter-defibrillators that monitor the hearts rhythm. When the heart gets out of a regular beat, the device will shock the patient back into a regular rhythm.

The research team asked participants to describe a recent event when they felt angry or disturbed nad observed the heart beat patterns through a T-wave alternan (TWA) to see whether anger-induced TWA predicted future arrhythmia.

They found that anger recall led to electrical instability in the heart beat.

Those with the highest instability were 10 times more likely to have an arrhythmia over the next three years, researchers say. Researchers concluded that anger-induced TWA predicts future ventricle arrhythmias in patients with implantable devices. The test included a 1 year follow up.
The study concluded "Anger-induced TWA predicts future ventricular arrhythmias in patients with ICDs, suggesting that emotion-induced repolarization instability may be 1 mechanism linking stress and sudden death. Whether there is a clinical role for anger-induced TWA testing requires further study."

In the future, a mental stress test could be added to an exercise text to predict the heart’s electrical stability.

As has been reported by the Mayo Clinic, meditation and other relaxation techniques may have profound effects on overall health.

The clinical results of the Yale study were as follows:

Patients with ICD-terminated arrhythmias during follow-up (n = 10) had higher TWA induced by anger, 13.2 µV (interquartile range [IQR] 9.3 to 16 µV), compared with those patients without future ventricular arrhythmias, 9.3 µV (IQR 7.5 to 11.5 µV, p < 0.01). Patients in the highest quartile of anger-induced TWA (>11.9 µV, n = 15) were more likely to experience arrhythmias by 1 year than those in the lower quartiles (33% vs. 4%) and during extended follow-up (40% vs. 9%, p < 0.01 for both). In multivariable regression controlling for ejection fraction, prior clinical arrhythmia, and wide QRS, anger-induced TWA remained a significant predictor of arrhythmia, with likelihood in the top quartile 10.8 times that of other patients (95% confidence interval: 1.6 to 113, p < 0.05).

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