In a recent study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, researchers found that heart attack patients who are sarcastic or irritable could be putting their health at risk.
This finding suggests that improving hostile behaviors could also be a positive move.
This was one of the largest and most comprehensive studies examining the link between hostility and outcomes in heart attack patients.
The study is from the University of Tennessee. One author is Dr. Tracey Vitori.
Hostility is a personality trait that includes being sarcastic, cynical, resentful, impatient or irritable. It’s not just a one-off occurrence but characterizes how a person interacts with people.
It is known that taking control of lifestyle habits improves the outlook for heart attack patients.
The study included 2,321 heart attack survivors. Hostility was measured at baseline using the Multiple Adjective Affect Checklist (MAACL). Patients were followed for 24 months for recurrent heart attacks and death.
The average age of participants was 67 years and 68% were men. More than half of the patients (57%) were scored as hostile according to the MAACL.
The team found that hostility was a strong predictor of dying from a second heart attack. They say hostility has been linked with heart disease since the 1950s.
This study shows that hostility is a common trait in heart attack survivors and is linked to poor outcomes. More research is needed on how this characteristic affects the body.
The study states that anxiety and depression are emotional states typically evaluated in patients with heart disease.
Adding an assessment of hostility may identify patients at risk for premature death. Educating patients on the potential impact of hostility could motivate behavioral changes.
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