Study Finds Anger Increases Risk of Injury

A new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine finds that angry people are more likely to suffer serious injuries requiring emergency medical care. Moreover, men are at a higher risk than women.

In seeking to determine if a link exists between anger levels and the risk of accidental injury, study lead author, Daniel Vinson of the Univerity of Missouri, and his team, chose to interview 2,517 emergency room patients over a 2-year period (1998-2000) in order to compare their emotional state just before their injury to; (1) 24 hours before the injury, and (2) 1,533 uninjured people contacted at random.The researchers found clear statistical evidence that varying degrees of irritability, anger, and hostility all accounted for elevated risk levels for injury. In total (counting 4 levels for each, from “a little” to “extreme”) just before being injured 31.8% of those interviewed were irritable, 18.2% were angry, and 13.2% were hostile. The overall total was 63.2%.

Subcategory analysis indicated that anger increased the risk of injury over 400% while hostility raised the odds by about 600%. Men were more at risk than women, and women’s risk level increased only when they were extremely irritable or hostile.

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