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 their temper.
"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.
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.
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