: A study finds that venting anger is not good for you and can lead to a higher risk of an irregular heartbeat, which can, in turn, cause strokes and worse.
I’ll attest to that. Like a guy who’s getting old, I’ve burdened you with my cardiac story: I got irregular heartbeats — aka afib — from a lung test that came from my 9/11 pneumonia. Ever since then, I have seen a strong tie between anger and heart rhythm. When somebody cuts me off on the highway, I can feel the heart start to go beserk. I now avoid situations where I have to yell at airline clerks. It has a direct impact on the heart.
Turns out, to my surprise, that has not been accepted medical wisdom.
The study, published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, is the first to link emotions with heartbeat. The research team’s leader, Elaine Eaker, the president of Eaker Epidemiology Enterprises in Wisconsin, said the findings challenged popular wisdom.
“There has been a perception that you can dissipate the negative health effects of anger by letting anger out instead of bottling it up,” she said. “But that is definitely not the case in this study.”
So stop trying to get me angry about Howard Stern. It’s bad for my health.