The connection between emotional overload and heart attack has been known since... well, forever.
But in case you had any doubt, a new study puts it to rest: Heart attack survivors with anger and stress issues have a dramatically higher risk of a second attack.
The researchers gave psychological tests to 228 heart attack patients -- including 200 men -- to measure levels of anger and stress, then tracked them for 10 years.
Or most of them, anyway -- because of the 51 patients who suffered a second heart attack in that time, 28 died... and I think you already know who was more likely to be among them.
Overall, the researchers say more than half of the patients who scored high for either stress or anger eventually suffered either a fatal or nonfatal second heart attack, while more than 75 percent of the patients with low scores managed to avoid it.
Breaking it down, anger turned out to be worse than stress -- although not by much. The researchers say patients with
high anger scores were 2.3 times more likely to have a second heart attack than those with low scores.
Patients who battled stress, on the other hand, were 1.9 times more likely to suffer a second attack, according to data presented at the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting.
But of course, the important thing here isn't the study -- we've known all along how anger and stress can wreck havoc on your health, especially when it comes to your heart.
What's more important is that both anger and stress are completely within your control -- and if you've been living with too much of either (or both), it's time to turn yourself around, whether you've already experienced a heart attack or are still working your way towards one.
I know that's easier said than done -- some old habits really do die hard, after all. But if you don't make those changes to your own life, those habits might not be the only things that die.