/publications/issue/2003/2003-01/2003-01-7067

Hostility May Be Better Than Cholesterol Level at Predicting Heart Disease

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Hostility may be a better predictor of heart disease than traditional coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors such as high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, and weight, according to findings published in the November 2002 issue of Health Psychology. The study involved a sample of 774 older white men (average age, 60). ?Older men with the highest levels of hostility were at the greatest risk for developing CHD, independent of the effects of fasting insulin, body mass index, weight?hip ratio, triglyceride levels and blood pressure,? said the authors. They speculated that high hostility levels may predispose an individual to CHD through other mechanisms not measured in this study, such as cardiac arrhythmia, imbalances in the nervous system, or cardiovascular and endocrine?neuroendocrine responses to stress.