A new study has found that ranting and raving Malcolm Tucker-style can
dramatically increase your risk of a heart attack.
The research suggests that Malcolm Tucker, the government spin doctor played
by Peter Capaldi in the hit BBC TV comedy The Thick of It, may not suffer
adversely after his fits of rage but real-life Tuckers should try to control
"While the absolute risk of any one anger episode triggering a heart attack
is low, our data demonstrates that the danger is real and still there," said Dr
Thomas Buckley, from the University of Sydney.
The study focused on 313 heart attack patients admitted to the Royal North
Shore Hospital in Sydney between 2006 and 2012. They were questioned about
their emotional state before they fell ill.
A seven-point scale from 'calm' to 'enraged, out of control, throwing
objects, hurting others' was used.
The threshold of acute anger was defined by a score of five and analysis
showed that seven of the patients had reached this anger level within the
two-hour period prior to the onset of their symptoms.
Anger level four - 'moderately angry, so hassled it shows in your voice' -
was reported by two patients within two hours of their heart attack and by
three within four hours.
The study findings say that the relative risk of having a heart attack was
8.5 times higher in the two hours after an outburst rated as level five or
above compared with patients' 'usual' anger patterns.