Anger Causes More Heart Problems

WASHINGTON (AP) - New research points to a telltale heart when it comes to people at risk for a life-threatening irregular heartbeat. Negative emotions like hostility and depression have long been considered risks for developing heart disease. Deaths from cardiac arrest rise after disasters such as earthquakes. But the research goes a step farther. It points to a pattern in the EKGs of certain heart patients when they merely recall a maddening event -- an anger spike that foretold bad news. That could mean they're more likely to have arrhythmias. The researchers say don't race out for an EKG. Nobody knows if anger has a similar electrical effect in people whose hearts aren't already diseased, as were the subjects of this study. The findings are reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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