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Hostile Personality Does Not Impact Women's Heart Health

Findings contradict previous research and are the opposite for men

FRIDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Although epidemiological evidence suggests that healthy people with hostile personalities are at increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD), having a persistently hostile personality does not affect women's long-term heart health, according to results of a population-based study published in the December issue of Heart.

D.C. Haas, M.D., MPH, of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and colleagues used data from the 1995 Nova Scotia Health Survey to conduct a study of 3,227 adults of whom 139 men and 88 women had CHD at baseline. Complete hostility data were available for 206 of the CHD patients.

The researchers compared the baseline characteristics of both high-hostile and low-hostile participants defined by the sex specific median hostility score. While the recurrence rate for CHD was 33% among low-hostile men and 54% among high-hostile men, the difference in CHD recurrence rates between high-hostile and low-hostile women was narrower, at 44% and 52%, respectively.

"Our findings challenge those of other studies," the authors conclude. "Hostility may have different consequences in men and women. Further studies are warranted to confirm our findings, to elucidate the effects of hostility in women, if any, and to determine if hostile patients may benefit from hostility management."

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