THURSDAY, March 17, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of anger may help drive coronary artery disease in many patients under 50 years of age, researchers say.
They add that they believe reductions in hostility levels would probably help ease symptoms.
The study of 500 coronary artery disease patients found that those younger than 50 had hostility scores two and a half times higher, on average, than patients aged 65 and older.
"We believe that reducing hostility and other parameters of psychological distress, particularly in young coronary artery disease patients, should be emphasized, as well as the potential benefits of cardiac rehabilitation for the secondary prevention of coronary artery disease," study author and cardiologist Dr. Carl Lavie, of the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, said in a prepared statement.
Recent research indicates that younger coronary artery disease patients have an especially poor long-term prognosis. There's also evidence that hostility is associated with the early development of coronary artery disease, as well as a rise in risk for heart attack.
Following cardiac rehabilitation, younger patients with hostility symptoms showed improvements in coronary artery disease risk factors, behavior characteristics and quality of life -- as well as a nearly 50 percent reduction in hostility symptoms, the study said.
The findings appear in the current issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation has more about coronary artery disease.