Researchers say taking a chill pill could help ease heart disease problems for those with anger issues

Impairment of blood vessel function could lead to stroke, study says

SAN ANTONIO – A study funded by the National Institutes of Health provides clarity as to why anger might increase someone’s risk of heart disease or stroke.

The study placed people in a setting and had them recall past incidents that made them angry.

Researchers found that anger is linked to vascular impairment, which could lead to long term damage that can lead to heart disease. While anger is a natural emotion, reoccurring burst of anger could increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

The study showed that when staying angry for more than eight minutes, the participant’s blood vessels dilated. The study also looked at emotions of anxiety, sadness and neutral emotions, but the blood vessels did not have the same response.

Dr. Denetria Brooks-James, a local licensed clinical social worker, said taking deep breaths, taking a walk outside or talking out anger could help some people calm down.

“Pay attention to your body. Listen to what your body is telling you. You know that you’re angry before you actually have the outburst, right? And remember, anger is a natural emotion,” she said. “It’s not the anger that’s the issue, it is how you deal with it, which is the problem, right?”

She said sometimes there are underlying issues that are triggering the anger, and that sometimes it’s as simple as you’re hungry or you are tired.

About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.

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