Dr. Rachel Lampert from Yale University recently did a study that appeared in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. In her study, she gathered 62 patients who had some sort of heart disease and implantable heart defibrillators (ICD). She had the patients recount an angry moment in their lives and Lampert’s crew did a test that measures electrical instability in the heart.
They found that the patients, by re-living the episode had increased electrical instability. Then they followed the patients for 3 years. They found out that the patients that had the high levels of anger were 10 times more likely to have a cardiac arrest.
Lampert suggests that anger can affect us negatively. More particularly for people who are already vulnerable to this type of electrical disturbance in the heart. Other studies have been done in the past that showed that things like “earthquakes, war or even the loss of a World Cup Soccer match” can increase rates of death from sudden cardiac arrest.
You can read up on the abstract of this study here.
Maybe this is why the bible talks a lot about anger. In James 1:20, it says, “For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” We cannot live the life that God desires for us.
It is amazing to find out the number of people who live with anger in their lives. In fact, a lot of the anger is rooted in unresolved issues from the past, unless a relational issue with people or even with God.
The irony of anger is that the angry person is the one who drinks the poison rather than the person that they are angry with. Unless people acknowledge their anger and begin to deal with the hurt and pain, it will be the angry person who will suffer and cut short their life here on this earth to make a difference.