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But that question should be studied, said Dr. Nieca Goldberg, a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association who wasn't involved with the research.
There's a clear connection between the heart and the head, that chronic negative emotions are somehow heart-damaging. "But we haven't been able to explain why that happens," said Goldberg, a cardiologist at New York University School of Medicine. "This is a step in the right direction."
The question of the still-healthy aside, this is a small study and researchers must test the anger spike's predictive ability in many more heart patients to be sure of its value.
But if it pans out, the finding could affect a huge population: About 100,000 defibrillators are implanted each year in people at risk of irregular heartbeats because of damage from a survived heart attack, genetic disorders and other conditions. Scientists are searching for ways to tell which patients most need the implants, and the anger spike may offer help.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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