Although it has been dramatized in cinema and television that anger causes the cardiac arrest of people, there may be truth in those gross dramatizations. Yale University researchers have found out that sudden strong emotion, like anger or anxiety, may cause the muscles in the heart to twitch. This may be especially true for people with previous history of cardiac problems, although seemingly healthy people my also be affected.
Researchers had patients of cardiovascular disease with the implanted defibrillator devices to keep the records of their emotions. The implanted devices can detect abnormalities in the heartbeats and can deliver electric shocks to get the heart back into the right rhythm. The patients were to record the emotions they felt and how strongly, in a scale of 1 to 5, immediately before they felt an electric shock from the implanted device.
Out of the 56 shocks recorded during the study, the arrhythmias that lead to shocks had begun from heart flutters were preceded by anger of more than 2 in the scale of intensity. After feeling the anger, the patients had undergone rapid muscle contractions in their heart that have the potential to cause cardiac arrest. On the other hand, in cases were such heart flutters were not noticed in arrhythmias, there were no incidences of feeling of strong emotions.