Antagonism may increase risk of heart attack, stroke

Antagonistic individuals, especially those who are manipulative and aggressive, show greater increases in arterial thickening.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on

Attention, those of you who like to write angry and insulting responses to what you read at Smartplanet.

You're killing yourself here.

Call it, "Trolls die young."

Researchers from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) looked at about 5,600 villagers in Sardinia, Italy. They took personality profiles, then measured their necks.

What they found in those identified as angry in the profiles was a notable thickening of the carotid arteries, a known risk factor for heart trouble.

The subjects ranged in age from 14 to 94, and over half were women. The findings were identical regardless of age or sex. The headline was that nasty women get the same arterial neck thickening as nasty men, so if you middle-aged guys are looking to marry again, seek thee a slender neck.

Yes, they also adjusted for cholesterol levels and smoking.

Antagonistic individuals, especially those who are manipulative and aggressive, have greater increases in arterial thickening, independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors.

If Billy Joel were still writing hits, he might say only the trolls die young.

This is not exactly news. Studies from 10 years ago showed a link between depression or anxiety and hypertension.

Angelina Sutin, a post-doc fellow at NIA, was the lead author on this study. She took two sets of measurements on the arterial walls of the neck, three years apart, and matched the changes to her survey results.

Some of the headlines resulting from this study were pretty interesting, saying as much about the editors as the findings:

Personally I have been accused of being quick to anger, but I'm going to try and control it. My neck size is 17, but the study notes it's the thickness of the arterial walls within the neck that are key evidence.

Illustration: CBS.com

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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