Anger/Hostility and Cardiovascular Disease



Cardiovascular disease (CVD) comprises diseases of the heart and the circulatory system, of which coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke are major clinical end points. CVD is the leading cause of death in industrialized nations and, owing to its rapid acceleration in developing countries, is projected to become the number one killer worldwide. The established CVD risk factors are age, physical inactivity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, elevated triglyceride levels, elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and cigarette smoking. Concern for the CHD morbidity and mortality burden and interest in effective prevention have stimulated debate over the degree to which new cases can be attributed to the traditional risk factors. Several studies have shown that after accounting for the traditional risk factors, unexplained variance in CHD remains. There has been growing interest in the influence of psychological factors in CVD. This chapter reviews primarily prospective, population-based studies on the relationship between anger/hostility and CVD. The results from these investigations confirm that trait anger/chronic hostility, anger expression, and acute anger episodes have positive predictive value for CVD – including new or recurrent events or atherosclerosis.


Coronary Heart Disease Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenocortical Coronary Heart Disease Event Anger Expression Trait Anger 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program in Public Health, LaGrange CollegeLaGrangeUSA

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