ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How anger could eventually kill you.

Updated on April 22, 2013

Most people will lose their temper from time to time; it is a natural reaction that allows them to release any build-up of anger and stress. But continual bouts of emotional temper can have an adverse effect on the human body

Some recent research has suggested that frequent bouts of uncontrolled anger can have long term effects in increasing the risks of heart attacks, a weakened immune system and strokes, and one of possible causes for this long term threat to health is the disruption of the brains circuitry brought on by negativity.

The damage that can be inflicted on the body as a result of prolonged anger rages has been well documented, increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure and blood flow to the muscles. The level of glucose rises, as does the hormone adrenalin.

Anger invigorates people. All their senses are enhanced, sharper vision and hearing: increased heartbeat.

These responses are normal and the body will continue to function in its usual way once serenity has been restored. However frequent attacks of anger and rage are the causes of long term risk. Regular anger attacks are believed to inflict long term wear and tear on the heart, the organ most at risk from continual bouts of anger.

It is important to understand the difference between controlling anger and suppressing it.Although the evidence is inconclusive, some research suggests that by bottling up anger and hostility, increases stress and damages the cardiovascular system.There is no problem in a frank “clear the air, get it off your chest” discussion, but if anger is part of an individual’s personality there could be long term health threats.

A major risk factor in causing strokes is atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation causes the heart to beat in an abnormal way by interfering with its electrical activity. In a survey carried out over ten years on a group of men, it was discovered that those men who threw angry temper tantrums for slight reasons were 30 per cent more likely to suffer atrial fibrillation than men with an even tempered disposition.

Anger can also impair the functioning of the respiratory system. Test carried out over an eight year period by Harvard University, indicated than men with high hostility ratings suffered with a decrease in their lung capacity. It is believed stress hormones may increase inflammation of their airways.

A further study by Harvard University has revealed how anger can suppress the immune system. A group of healthy individuals were asked to concentrate on two emotions, anger and compassion. During the experiment the measurement of immunoglobulin (IgA) a key antibody that acts as a protective coating on cells against foreign and dangerous organisms. It was found that a six hour suppression of the immune system was caused by focusing on an angry emotion, while the compassionate emotion caused a considerable increase of IgA antibody. It is believed that a high level of stress related hormones such as cortisol are able to decrease the body’s immunity system and leave it open to infection.

Cortisol is a hormone that has been shown to interfere with provision of cytokines, compounds that can instigate the process of wound healing. Volunteers from an anger management course agreed to have a minor blister inflicted on a forefinger by a slight burn. Over a period of eight days the blisters were checked by medical staff to track the speed of recovery. It was discovered that the angrier of the volunteers had higher levels of cortisol in their blood.

A reasonable degree of anger is acceptable in some cases. Students in Stanford University were asked to take part in a role playing experiment regarding the negotiation of a business proposal. Some of them were given scripts that instructed them to make their business demands in an angry manner. It was found that these students were more likely to make their rivals back down.

So anger can have some benefits. Just don’t overdo it.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)