Hypertension :: Anger and psychological stress play a role in development of heart disease in prehypertensive middle-aged adults

Prehypertensive middle-aged men who have high levels of trait anger – a tendency to experience anger across a range of situations – are at increased risk of progressing to hypertension and developing coronary heart disease, according to a secondary analysis of a large population-based study.

The analysis of 2,334 men and women aged 45-64 years also found that long-term stress is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease in both men and women.

Specifically, researchers found that men with high trait anger scores had 1.7 times greater odds for developing hypertension than those with low or moderate scores, and high trait anger scores were associated with a 90 percent increase in the risk of progression to coronary heart disease in prehypertensive men. Moreover, both men and women with high levels of long-term psychological stress had 1.68 times greater odds for developing coronary heart disease than those with low or moderate stress.

The authors suggest that treatment of anger and psychological stress may have a beneficial effect on slowing progression of prehypertension to hypertension and coronary heart disease.

Psychosocial Factors and Progression From Prehypertension to Hypertension or Coronary Heart Disease
By Marty Player, M.D., et al

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