Could anger and depression raise the risk of abnormal heart rhythm?
Psychological issues such as anger, anxiety, depression, and stress may be associated with a greater likelihood of developing abnormal heart rhythm, according to a new study.
Abnormal heart rhythm, also known as atrial fibrillation (afib), is associated with with negative emotions, according to the study published Sept. 1, 2022, in the International Journal of Cardiology.
Researchers examined 13 studies that involved a total of more than 5.3 million participants. They found that the two most common emotional disorders, depression and anxiety, were associated with a 25% and 10% higher risk of afib, respectively.
Significant work stress was linked to a 18% greater risk of afib, and anger to a 15% increase in risk.
People with depression and anxiety tend to have higher blood levels of stress hormones and substances known as inflammatory biomarkers.
Both may contribute to alterations in the heart’s electrical activity and structure, which could contribute to afib, according to the study authors.
Source: Harvard Health Publishing