Sarcastic or irritable people ‘more likely to die from heart attack’, study says
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People who are sarcastic and irritable may be risking their heart health, new research claims.
A study in the United States involving 2,300 heart attack survivors found those with outwardly negative character traits were at a greater risk of dying of a second within two years.
Such traits included being sarcastic, cynical, showing resentment, impatience or irritability.
Those conducting the study believe that this could be because the emotional state of being regularly negative puts a strain on their health.
Plus, people who are hostile are less likely to look after themselves.
And, they are more likely to smoke, drink and have a poor lifestyle and diet, reports MailOnline.
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The study, by researchers from the University of Tennessee, measured hostility using a personality test.
The 2,321 patients were then followed for 24 months.
After two years the participants’ survival rates were compared with their personality types and hostility was found to accurately predict someones chances of dying of a second heart attack.
Writing in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, the study found someone’s personality may impact the heart through both behavioural and psychological mechanisms.
It read: “Hostile individuals have increased clotting times, higher adrenaline levels, above normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increased cardiac reactivity.
“These known inflammatory factors may initiate cardiac events and increase poor clinical outcomes.”
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In the past, studies have shown optimism has a direct impact on heart health.
This is because it can reduce stress hormones, pulse rate and blood pressure.
Hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which are higher in those who feel stressed or anxious, can put a burden on the heart.
Plus, more positive people are likely to do more exercise and drink less, smoke less and eat better.
Study author Tracey Vitori of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, said: “Hostility is a personality trait that includes being sarcastic, cynical, resentful, impatient or irritable.
“It's not just a one-off occurrence but characterises how a person interacts with people.
“We know that taking control of lifestyle habits improves the outlook for heart attack patients and our study suggests that improving hostile behaviours could also be a positive move.”
- In the News
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