8/14/2007 *New York Times* includes an article: “Behavior:
Hostility May Raise Risk for Disease” by Nicholas Bakalar.

Here’s the article:

Researchers studying 313 healthy Vietnam veterans have found that anger
and hostility may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes
and high blood pressure.

Over a period of 10 years, the men had regular physical examinations
involving a wide variety of medical tests. They also underwent
psychological examinations using well-established questionnaires to
determine their levels of hostility, anger and depression.

The researchers measured blood levels of a protein called C3, a marker
for the inflammation that is a risk factor for cardiovascular illnesses.
After controlling for other variables, the scientists found that those
in the highest one-quarter in hostility, anger and depression showed a
steady and significant increase in C3 levels, while those in the lowest
one-quarter had no increase.

“This may put those men at increased risk for hypertension, diabetes and
coronary heart disease,” said Stephen H. Boyle, the lead author of the
study and a researcher at Duke University Medical Center.

Why these increases in C3 levels happen is unknown, but the authors
speculate that anger in hostile and depressed men initiates a series of
chemical responses in the immune system that lead to inflammation.

Taking steps to control hostility may be helpful. “There are
interventions that appear to be useful in lowering levels of anger,” Dr.
Boyle said. “I don’t know if their long-term effects on physiology have
been tested, but if you’re less angry and hostile, that in itself is a
worthy goal.”

The study was published in the August issue of Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

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