Hostility entails heightened CHD risk in postmenopausal women with diabetes
For postmenopausal women with diabetes, being hostile may be bad for the heart, with a recent study suggesting that such personality trait contributes to an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD).
The study examined the associations between personality traits and the risk of CHD or stroke in 15,029 women aged 50–79 years with self-reported treated diabetes. A total of 1,118 incident CHD and 710 incident stroke cases were recorded over a mean follow-up of 10 years.
CHD risk was about 20-percent higher in women in the highest vs the lowest quartile of hostility (hazard ratio [HR], 1.22, 95 percent CI, 1.01–1.48). In an analysis stratified by prevalent or incident diabetes, the highest quartile of hostility carried a 34-percent heightened risk of CHD (HR, 1.34, 1.03–1.74) in women with incident diabetes.
There were no other personality traits significantly associated with stroke or CHD.
Researchers used validated scales to measure personality traits such as hostility, optimism, ambivalence over emotional expressiveness and negative emotional expressiveness. They applied multivariable Cox proportional-hazards regression models to obtain risk estimates of adjudicated CHD (nonfatal myocardial infarction and CHD death) or stroke outcomes in relation to personality traits. Demographics, depression, anthropometric variables and lifestyle factors were included in the analysis as confounders.
The present data provide a basis for targeted prevention programmes for diabetic women with a high level of hostility, according to the researchers.