Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Balance

Font Size

Anger Linked to Heart Disease

Anger, Hostility, and Depression Tied to Inflammation, Heart Disease Risk

WebMD Health News

Sept. 22, 2004 -- A bad attitude may put your heart at risk, regardless of how well you've got the other traditional heart disease risk factors under control, according to a new study.

Researchers found otherwise healthy people prone to anger, hostility, and depression have higher levels of a substance linked to narrowing of the arteries and future heart disease risk called C-reactive protein (CRP). This protein is released in the body in response to the inflammation caused by stress, infection, and other threats to the immune system.

Depression and anger have long been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, but experts say this is one of the first studies to provide proof of a possible mechanism behind the relationship.

Researchers say the findings show that these behavioral and psychological factors might help account for the 50% of heart attacks that occur among people without any of the traditional risk factors for heart disease.

"These psychological behaviors do have implications in determining health or the risk of disease that we have," says researcher Edward Suarez, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center.

"This is the first study to show there is an independent association between depression and C-reactive protein," Suarez tells WebMD, "regardless of their weight, blood pressure, [cholesterol] levels, alcohol use, and exercise status."

C-Reactive Protein Tied to Depression

In the study, published in the September issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, 127 healthy men and women completed personality questionnaires that assessed anger, hostility, and depressive symptoms. Blood tests were then performed to measure CRP levels.

None of the participants had any history of heart disease or other risk factors associated with heart disease and high CRP levels, such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

The study showed that healthy adults who had mild to moderate symptoms of depression, anger, or hostility had levels of CRP, a marker of inflammation in the blood, that were two to three times higher than those of their calmer counterparts. And the more negative their moods, the higher their CRP levels were.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

woman in yoga class
6 health benefits of yoga.
beautiful girl lying down of grass
10 relaxation techniques to try.
mature woman with glass of water
Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
coffee beans in shape of mug
Get the facts.
Take your medication
Hand appearing to hold the sun
Hungover man
Welcome mat and wellington boots
Woman worn out on couch
Happy and sad faces
Fingertip with string tied in a bow
laughing family