New research shows that men who are angry or hostile should find a way to calm down because they're more likely to suffer from an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is when the two upper chambers of the heart quiver instead of beating effectively. This can cause blood to pool and form clots, increasing the chance for a stroke. Researchers say this is the first study to show these emotions increase the risk for this condition.
Researchers conducted a study looking for an association between atrial fibrillation and psychological stress. Participants completed psychological surveys around 48 years old. None of the participants showed signs of heart disease at the start of the study. The participants were followed for 10 years looking for development of coronary heart disease, atrial fibrillation and death.
Researchers found that men who were angry and hostile were more likely to develop atrial fibrillation. Specifically, men with higher feelings of hostility were 30-percent more likely to develop atrial fibrillation compared with men with lower hostility levels. Hostility is defined as someone who expects the worse from people. As for anger, researchers found men who had higher anger levels were at 10-percent greater risk of developing atrial fibrillation. They also report men with higher levels of anger were 20-percent more likely to have died during the study. Researchers say this shows you cannot dissipate the negative impact of anger by letting anger out instead of bottling it up.
Thus researchers conclude that health professionals need to understand that personality traits may be detrimental to the health of some individuals.