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June 9, 2000     Cape Gazette
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June 9, 2000

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GAPE. GAZ]STYE, Friday, June 9--dune-15; +2000.45 HEALTH & FITNESS Study shows anger increases heart attack risk A person who is most prone to anger is about three times more likely to have a heart attack or sudden cardiac death than some- one who is less prone to anger, according to a new study pub- lished in "Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association." Dr. Janice E. Williams, lead author of the study conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said the findings were true for individuals with nor- mal blood pressure levels but not those with high blood pressure.- "The implications of our study are that anger could potentially lead to heart attacks, especially among middle-aged men and women with normal blood pres- sure," she said. The researchers said there has "always been a suspicion that emotional states such as anger, anxiety and depression have an impact on health. Now, we're bet- ter able to document the associa- tion with the use of follow-up studies like this one." During the six-year study, 256 individuals had heart attacks. Individuals who were the most prone to anger were 2.69 times more likely to have a heart attack or sudden death than those with the lowest anger ratings on a 40- point scale. Individuals who scored moder- ate were 35 percent more likely to experience a coronary event. "These findings were also true even after taking into account the presence of risk factors such as smoking, having diabetes, choles- terol levels and excess .weight," she said. The study used a prospective design. In this kind of study design, individuals are free of heart disease at the beginning of the study. Prospective studies provide more convincing evi- dence than many other types of studies because they show that anger precedes the heart attack and is not a consequence of ill health. Heart attacks occur when a blood vessel is blocked by a blood clot that forms on a plaque, a col- lection of fat on the blood vessel. Stress hormones, which con- strict blood vessels, may make the plaque more prone to rupture, resulting in a blood clot that blocks the heart artery. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 13,000 people who were followed for up to six years as part of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study in four locations: Washington County, Md.; suburban Minne- apolis, Minn.; Forsyth County, N.C.; and Jackson, Miss. Anger was measured by a 10- item questionnaire called the Speiiberger Trait Anger Scale. Some of the questions asked if the individuals were hot-headed, quick-tempered, or if they felt like hitting someone when they got angry and felt annoyed when not given recognition for doing good work. Individuals were given a score of one to 40, according to their answers to the questions. The average score was 16. About 8 percent Of the individuals scored high, 55 percent scored moderate, and 37 percent scored low. Higher scorers were slightly younger, more likely to be men and have less than a high school education than participants who were moderate or low scorers. High scorers were also more likely to be smokers and drinkers. Researchers did not find any racial differences in the associa- tion between anger and coronary events. "The lack of an increase in heart attacks among individuals who had high blood pressure and high anger could have been due to the fact that high blood pressure alone is associated with heart disease and an anger-prone personality had little further effect," said Williams. Researchers said stress manage- ment may help anger-prone indi- viduals develop better coping skills to deal with their response to anger-provoking situations. Editor's note: Co-authors of this article include Catherine C. Paton, Dr. llene C. Siegler, Dr. Marsha L. Eigenbrodt, Dr. E Javier Nieto, and Dr. Herman A. Tyroler. Information provided by the American Heart Association. Auxiliary supports women's health The Beebe Medical Center Auxiliary recently presented Beebe president, Jeffrey M. Fried, with a check for $115,000 toward the Women's Imaging Center planned for the new Beebe Health Campus. The check was presented during the auxiliary's annual luncheon at the Lamp Post. The auxiliary also installed its slate of new officers. Shown standing are (I-r) Betty Pratt, auxiliary president; Jeffrey Fried, Beebe Medical Center president and CEO; Nancy Kratz, assistant treasurer; Madeline Nelson, recording secretary; and Carol Blades, second vice president. In front are Gloria Dill, vice president; Dorothy Marshall, member at-large; and Florence Wingate, treasurer. In addition to raising money to benefit Beebe Medical Center, many members also volunteer their time working af the hospital information desk, gift shop, and other areas. Construction is expected to begin for Beebe's new Route 24 outpatient health ampus in Rehoboth Beach by the end of this r.  " : .......  The project is intended to offer dedicated outpatient serv- ices and increase space for emergency and inpatient servic at the Lewes hospital site. Submitted photo Bayside Health offers safel7 tips for children With the summer season approaching, Bayside Health has issued some tips for parents to assist medical personnel should their child need medical treatment while away at camp or out of town with Grandma and Grandpa. Medical personnel obviously want what is best for a child, and although everyone hopes nothing happens while a child is away from their home, accidents do happen. There are a few things that par- ents can do before their child goes away tO camp or with relatives that can make any medical per- sonnel's job a little easier. Send a note authorizing con- sent. for medical treatment for your child. Often children go to camp or out-of-town with relatives during the summer. As a minor, a child needs a guardian or parent to sign for consent of medical treatment, except in the case of a life or death emergency. A note authorizing a relative or camp representative to consent for medical treatment will save time and allow medical personnel to treat a child more rapidly. If a child is cov6red by health insurance, send a copy of the front and back of the card. If a child needs medical care and he or she is covered by a health insurance policy, having a copy of the card available will assist medical personnel in verify- ing the insurance coverage and benefit and may save a temporary caregiver from having to pay the bill up front. If there is a copay required for an office visit, this should be paid when the doctor sees the child as well. Contracts with health insurance companies specifically state that cards must be presented at the time of service. Send a list of pertinent health history information. This would include information about allergies, any medical con- ditions such as asthma, diabetes and epilepsy, a list of current med- ications, a list of immunizations, including the date of the last tetanus shot, any surgeries or hos- pitalizations and the name and phone number of the child's pri- mary physician. This information could make diagnosing a child faster and easi- er and may save them from unnecessary shots or tests. Don't forget the basics. These include sunscreen, a hat, insect repellent and a sweatshirt. Making sure a child is adequately protect- ed from the elements when out- doors could save a trip to the doc- tor later. HEALTH TOPICS GINA HUN.(ilCKER Gina Hunsicker is the office manager at Bayside Health Association. For more infor- mation, call 645-4700.