Effects of anger last at least a week, study shows

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Heather Mills needs to calm down. Outbursts like her infamous rant on GMTV may still be having an adverse effect on her health a week later, according to scientists.

New research shows that blood pressure increases during a bout of anger and that it still rises seven days later when the row is remembered. "Even after a week, there is no sign of any reduction of the effect,'' say researchers, who report their findings in the International Journal of Psychophysiology this week.

Anger has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and other health problems. Research suggests that hardening of the arteries seems to advance faster in people who score high in anger and hostility tests.

One theory is that stress hormones constrict blood vessels, raise blood pressure and speed up the heartbeat. It had been thought that these effects would disappear when the row was over.

Researchers at the University of California and Columbia University looked at longer-term effects of anger triggered during a laboratory experiment with volunteers. "If cardiovascular responses are damaging to the cardiovascular system, then stressful events have the potential to continue to do harm long after they are ended."

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