Health updates: Medical studies flawed and anger

February 25, 2012

Anger, Health, Men

The following is interesting information regarding medical studies and the impact of anger on your health.

Basis of many medical studies found to be fatally flawed

A new study analyzed numerous research trials to determine the content of the supposedly “inactive” placebos used for research, but discovered that placebo disclosure is rare. Placebos, by definition, are supposed to be inert, innocuous substances that have no effect on your body. They are therefore used as a measure of control against which to measure the effects of modern-day medical treatments. Researchers examined 176 medical journal studies and found that the vast majority did not mention the contents of the placebos at all. The study authors argued that placebo ingredients may be important, as some could skew results in favor of the active drug.

According to the Los Angeles Times: “The researchers referenced a trial for a drug used to treat anorexia linked with cancer, which used a lactose placebo. Since lactose intolerance is common among cancer patients, the fact that some suffered stomach problems from the placebo may have made the actual drug look more beneficial.”

New study shows profound impact of anger on your health

When you become angry, your heart rate, arterial tension and testosterone production increase, and cortisol (the stress hormone) and the left hemisphere of your brain become more stimulated. Researchers induced anger in 30 men, using “Anger Induction” (AI), which consists of 50 first-person phrases that reflect daily situations that provoke anger. Before and immediately after the inducement of anger, the researchers measured heart rate and arterial tension, levels of testosterone and cortisol, and the asymmetric activation of the brain.

According to Eurekalert: “The results … reveal that anger provokes profound changes in the state of mind of the subjects (‘they felt angered and had a more negative state of mind’) and in different psychobiological parameters.”


Sources: Los Angeles Times October 18, 2010, Annals of Internal Medicine October 19, 2010; 153: 532-535, Eurekalert May 31, 2010, Hormones and Behavior March 2010, 57(3):276-83 and

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 6, Dec 2010/Jan 2011.

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