Anger frequency and risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality

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Nelson Vergel

Anger may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) but previous findings are inconclusive and large prospective studies are needed. We investigated whether frequency of strong anger is associated with the incidence of specific CVDs and CVD mortality, and if sex, age, and cardiometabolic risk factors modify these associations.

Methods and results
We used data from a population-based cohort of 47 077 Swedish adults (56–94 years of age) who completed questionnaires regarding their experience of anger, lifestyle habits, and health characteristics. Participants were followed for incident cardiovascular outcomes and death up to 9 years through linkage to the Swedish National Patient and Death Registers. Hazard ratios and confidence intervals adjusted for potential confounders were assessed.

In multivariable analyses, frequent episodes of strong anger were associated with an increased risk of heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and CVD mortality [hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) = 1.19 (1.04–1.37), 1.16 (1.06–1.28), and 1.23 (1.09–1.40), respectively]. The link between anger frequency and heart failure was more pronounced in men and participants with a history of diabetes. No evidence of an independent association of anger frequency with risk of myocardial infarction, aortic valve stenosis, and abdominal aortic aneurysm was found.

Our findings indicate that anger may contribute to the development of specific CVDs and CVD mortality, especially heart failure in men and in those with diabetes.

Source: Anger frequency and risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality
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