PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Two new studies are highlighting some factors that may increase a person’s risk of developing certain cardiovascular issues.

When it comes to the heart, does it help to get things off your chest? How about a daily baby aspirin?

These two notions have people unleashing their stress and popping pills — and that may not be harmless.

A study from Australia shows intense feelings of anger can trigger a heart attack, even up to two hours later. This is most likely related to the surge of stress hormones, the rise in pulse and blood pressure, and constriction of the heart’s blood vessels.

Police officers and parents after arguing with their children are just some of the patients a cardiologist at St. Clair Hospital has seen this happen to.

“If you’re going to explode and yell at a boss, or a spouse or a child, if you can just breathe, and just count to 10, you might not say the things you want to say, and it would be better for you,” St. Clair Hospital cardiologist Dr. Robert Shogry says.

Another study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows 11 percent of patients taking aspirin as a preventive medicine are having this prescribed outside of medical guidelines. That is, for people who do not have an increased risk of heart attack in the next several years.

“It does have its good benefits,” says Dr. Shogry, “but apparently, in a healthy population, there’s a much more increased risk of bleeding.”

Whether it’s decreasing inflammation in your body or your emotions, it all comes down to the same idea.

“Your family history loads the gun, and your lifestyle pulls the trigger,” Dr. Shogry explains. “Lifestyle is the most important thing, not necessarily taking a pill.”

Instead of a daily aspirin, if you don’t have diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or a prior heart attack, you could more effectively reduce your heart risk by eating fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, and not smoking.

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