Predicting Heart Disease

Published Online: Saturday, February 1, 2003

A recent study found that blood pressure, cholesterol level, obesity, and smoking habits proved less accurate in predicting heart disease than the patient?s hostility level. As reported in the November 2002 issue of Health Psychology, a team from Brown University?s Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine administered a standard personality test to a group of 774 men in their 60s. Over the next 3 years, 45 men had at least 1 heart-related event. Those men who had heart attacks, suffered chest pain, or developed heart disease were much more likely to have scored high in hostility on a personality examination.

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