Angry Young Adults Show Early Signs of Heart Disease
WebMD News Archive
Many doctors already recognize that assessing someone's cardiovascular risk
requires looking at psychosocial risk factors, as well as health behaviors and
familial background, Knox says. This study, as well as many others, suggests
that treatment of psychosocial factors also is important, and needs to take
place earlier, she says.
"My own research has shown that people who are chronically irritable are
as prone to cardiovascular disease as those who are always angry and ready to
explode," says Aron Seigmen, PhD, professor of psychology at the University
of Maryland in Baltimore County.
"It's hard to define what different researchers mean by hostility, but
in my research, I've seen that the outward expression of anger seems to be the
most toxic," Seigmen says. "People who respond in this way need to
relearn their responses and to change their view of situations to defuse the
toxic effect of their emotions on their cardiovascular health."
Willem Kop, PhD, research assistant professor at the Uniformed Services
University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., also reviewed the study for
"Unfortunately, hostility is a trait that's very resistant to
change," Kop says. "It's necessary to alter the person's coping
strategy, not attempt to change the trait itself. We've had success with
behavioral medicine interventions, in addition to relaxation training."
- According to a new study, people who are hostile are more likely to show
signs of early heart disease.
- The higher the level of hostility a person exhibits, the greater prevalence
of calcium in the arteries, a condition that contributes to the hardening of
- People who are hostile can relearn how to respond to situations and diffuse
the negative effects of these emotions on their health.