who's angry? who's hostile? not on hotcopper!

  1. dub
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    Hostility, Anger harmful to health!


    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) -

    Beware, angry young men:

    you may grow up to be unhealthy middle-aged men, according to new research.

    The study found that people who displayed high levels of hostility during college tended to have more health risk factors than people who were more mellow in college.

    But hostile college students are not doomed to an unhealthy life, according to the report. Their health is better if their hostility declines appreciably as they get older.

    As any parent of a teenager knows, hostility usually peaks in late adolescence. Dr. Ilene C. Siegler of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and others set out to see what effect hostility in the late teen years has on health later in life.

    The study included more than 2,000 people -- mostly white men -- who started college in the mid-1960s. Hostility was measured when participants were in college and approximately 23 years later. Health risk factors, such as smoking and obesity, were measured in the 1990s.

    Higher hostility in college was related to greater health risk factors in middle age, the researchers report in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

    People with higher hostility in college were more likely to smoke, to drink more than recommended and to feel a lack of social support. They also were more likely to have symptoms of depression and to think that their family life was going downhill.

    The researchers also uncovered some good news for people who were hostile in college. Hostility tends to diminish over time, but people who experienced a greater-than-average drop in hostility level as they got older had reduced health risk factors.

    In contrast, people who became more hostile as they got older experienced more health risks, including twice the risk of being obese or depressed.

    The results of the study highlight the need to nip hostility in the bud early in life, according to the authors.

    "Interventions designed to reduce or (potentially more important) prevent gains in hostility ... may well help to reduce health risk behaviors and thus enhance the health of the population," the authors conclude.

    SOURCE: Psychosomatic Medicine, September/October 2003.


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