The Emotions That Lead To Heart Disease

If your emotions get the best of you, it can destroy your health. Researchers at the University of Chicago have discovered a link between certain strong emotions and inflammation in the body. The possible long-term result of that inflammation: heart disease.

If you’ve ever felt the urge to give in to the kind of strong anger that leads to road rage, you’ve glimpsed the implications of what psychiatrists call intermittent explosive disorder (IED). That kind of anger does more than skew your relationships with other people. It can disrupt your physiology and make you prone to the kind of significant inflammation implicated in cardiovascular disease.

In this study, researchers examined blood levels of two markers of inflammation: C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Both of these have been connected with impulsive aggressive behaviors.

Average CRP levels, for example, were double in those with IED compared to normal, healthy people.

“We don’t yet know if the inflammation triggers aggression or aggressive feelings set off inflammation, but it’s a powerful indication that the two are biologically connected, and a damaging combination,” notes researcher Emil Coccaro.


Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.