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Extremely hostile women do not have a greater risk of heart disease than their more placid sisters, new research has found, contradicting conventional wisdom about the consequences of an angry personality for both sexes.
While men with high levels of hostility had nearly twice the risk of heart disease as men with low levels of hostility in the new study, women who were very hostile actually had a slightly lower risk of heart disease compared with women who reported little hostility, although that difference was not statistically significant, according to a paper published recently in the British Journal of Medicine.
"Hostile men, but not women, were more than twice as likely to suffer recurrent coronary heart disease events," the paper said. "Hostility may have different consequences in men and women."
The study, partly funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, was conducted by researchers in New York at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, St. John's University and Columbia University Medical Center.
The study tracked 206 men and women in Nova Scotia over four years and evaluated their personalities on a hostility scale.
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