March 10, 2009

Anger and hostility can harm heart

Anger and hostility can be harmful to the heart -- especially among men -- showing that psychological factors can harm the heart, British researchers said.

Dr. Yoichi Chida of the University College in London and colleagues reviewed the literature on the longitudinal associations of anger and hostility with coronary heart disease events and identified 25 studies of initially healthy populations and 18 studies of patients with coronary heart disease.

Management of anger and hostility may be an important adjuvant strategy in preventing coronary heart disease in the general public and treating coronary heart disease patients, the researchers said.

Anger and hostility were found to predict a 19 percent and 24 percent increase in coronary heart disease events among initially healthy people and those with pre-existing coronary heart disease, respectively, Chida said in a statement.

The harmful association of anger and hostility with coronary heart disease events in healthy people was greater in men than women. This suggests that the accumulation of stress responses in daily life might have a greater impact on future coronary heart disease in men.

The findings are published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.