File image

London - Getting angry can shorten your life, according to a study.

Researchers found men who admitted having a short fuse around the age of 35 were much more likely to be dead 35 years later than those who were less quick to anger.

The angriest men were 57 percent more likely to have died by the follow-up stage than the calmest men, the researchers from Iowa State University said.

And the relationship between anger and mortality remained strong after taking into account factors such as income, marital status and whether or not they smoked, they found. The researchers said previous studies had “linked anger with a variety of negative physiological processes”.

These include atherosclerosis – where arteries become clogged up by fatty substances called plaques – and can lead to “serious and potentially fatal health events such as heart attacks”, the researchers added.

They wrote in the journal Social Science & Medicine: “This suggests that the actual embodiment of the trait anger in physiological processes may be responsible for the observed association between anger and mortality.” The study used data from 1 307 men who had been followed from 1968 until 2007.

For the first five years, they were questioned annually about their anger levels. with researchers asking whether they “get angry fairly easily” or whether it “takes a lot to get them angry”. Each man’s score was averaged for the five years. In 1972, the men had an average age of 34 and a half.

“Those men in the highest anger quartile [top 25 percent] had 57 percent higher odds of death by 2007 than men in the lowest quartile,” researcher Amelia Karraker said.

Graham Price, a London-based chartered psychologist who treats people with anger problems, said: “Anger is a form of stress and stress increases cortisol levels in the bloodstream. Studies have shown that if anger or other forms of stress are maintained over long periods, negative health impacts can result, including developing irritable bowel syndrome or increased strokes, heart attacks and other cardiac problems.”

Harley Street psychologist Dr Becky Spelman said: “Generally speaking, the least healthy people tend to be the angriest, as fitness and diet make a huge difference to our self-esteem, which is where our anger usually comes from.

“Find a fitness type that you enjoy?…?whilst reducing sugary and processed foods from your diet, including alcohol.”

Daily Mail