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Anger damages blood vessel function and increases risk of heart disease

Anger damages blood vessel function and increases risk of heart disease


In a recent study published in American Heart Association JournalTo understand the link between core negative emotions and cardiovascular disease events, a team of researchers sought to understand how evoked negative emotions such as anger, sadness, and anxiety affect endothelial cell health. We investigated whether it would have an impact.

Research: A translational study of the acute effects of negative emotions on vascular endothelial health: Results from a randomized controlled study. Image credit: Tiko Aramyan / Shutterstockstudy: A translational study of the acute effects of negative emotions on vascular endothelial health: Findings from a randomized controlled study.. Image credit: Tiko Aramyan/Shutterstock


Cardiovascular disease events are often caused by blood clot formation, which occurs after atherosclerotic plaques break away from artery walls. These plaques form when lipids and other elements in the blood are deposited along the walls of the arteries. Significant research efforts are being made to understand the mechanisms and determinants underlying the pathways leading to atherosclerosis.

However, since the 1950s, especially since Friedman and Rosenman found that highly competitive individuals who are task-driven, ambitious, aggressive, and time-sensitive are more competitive, psychosocial factors and cardiovascular There is also considerable interest in the association with risk of disease events. They are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease than people with other behavioral patterns.

Many studies have also found that intense anger is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease events. However, the underlying mechanisms by which acute anger influences the development and progression of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease have not yet been investigated.

About research

In this study, researchers investigated how evoked negative emotions such as anger, sadness, and anxiety affect endothelial cell health. Vascular homeostasis is primarily controlled by the endothelium, and endothelial cells are essential for maintaining vascular structural integrity and vascular tone. Additionally, research has shown that endothelial dysfunction may trigger the disease. Development of atherosclerosis and causes the development of cardiovascular disease.

Studies have also shown that tasks that cause mental stress, such as public speaking, affect endothelium-dependent vasodilation. A previous non-randomized study by the same team of researchers also found that an anger recall task that involved recalling and re-experiencing past events that triggered acute anger damaged endothelial cells and impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation. It was also found to have a significant impact on endothelial cell health. and destroys the repair capacity of endothelial cells.

This single-blind, randomized, controlled study enrolled nearly 300 participants and completed four conditions: an anger recall task, a depressed mood recall task, an anxiety recall task, and a neutral emotional state. were randomly assigned to four groups based on

Pre- and post-assessment of endothelial cell health includes detection of circulating levels of endothelial cell-derived microparticles to assess endothelial cell damage and assess blood flow-mediated endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Additionally, measuring the circulating levels of bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells provided information about the repair capacity of endothelial cells.

Participants with chronic medical conditions such as a history of cardiovascular disease or coronary revascularization, or risk factors such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, or hypertension were excluded. Participants who actively smoke, use over-the-counter nutritional supplements or medications, or have a history of personality disorders, mood disorders, or psychosis also avoid confounding the results. were excluded from the study.

A self-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on cardiovascular disease risk factors, physical activity level, alcohol intake, smoking exposure, and demographic characteristics.


The results showed that even short-term anger induction impairs endothelium-dependent vasodilation and negatively impacts endothelial cell health. This study also reported that the negative emotion-inducing task was highly effective in eliciting the necessary negative emotions, confirming the effectiveness of this procedure.

The researchers found that compared to neutral emotions, evoked angry emotions caused impairments in reactive hyperemia index scores between 0 and 40 minutes. This score measures excessive blood supply to an area or organ and is an indicator of endothelial function. Impairment in scores was not observed >40 min after anger induction, highlighting the acute effects of induced anger on endothelial function.

Furthermore, compared to neutral emotional states, feelings of sadness and anxiety did not cause significant changes in reactive hyperemia index scores. Findings related to evoked anger and reactive hyperemia index scores remained unchanged after adjusting for visual analogue scale ratings, suggesting that nonspecific feelings of sadness and anxiety were associated with evoked anger and endothelial health. It shows that it has no effect on the association with the state. No changes were observed in endothelial cell-derived microparticles or endothelial progenitor cells for any emotion-inducing task.


Overall, this study found that inducing anger significantly impacts endothelial cell health by impairing endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Other negative emotions, such as sadness and anxiety, do not have similar effects on endothelial function. These findings provide a deeper understanding of the biological mechanisms by which core negative emotions increase the risk of cardiovascular disease events.

Reference magazines:

  • Daichi S., Cohen, M. T., McGoldrick, M., Ipek Ensari, Diaz, K. M., Fu, J., Duran, A. T., Zhao, S., Suls, J. M., Burg, M. M., & Chaplin, W. F. (n.d.). A translational study of the acute effects of negative emotions on vascular endothelial health: Results of a randomized controlled study. American Heart Association JournalDOI: 10.1161/JAHA.123.032698,




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