Hostile attitudes worsen health outcomes for heart attack patients: Study

*A good attitude is key for heart attack patients because being more irritable could increase risk of death in case of a second heart attack

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Though several consumers think of changing their diet or exercise habits in an effort at promoting improved heart health, a new study is yet exploring how a person’s attitude plays a bigger role in health outcomes than they might realise.

ConsumerConnect gathered that having a hostile attitude could make recovering from a heart attack more complicated, according to researchers from the European Society of Cardiology.

The fresh study found that a good attitude is key for heart attack patients because being more irritable could increase the risk of death in the event of a second heart attack.

Dr. Tracey Vitori, one of the researchers, said: “Hostility is a personality trait that includes being sarcastic, cynical, resentful, impatient, or irritable.

“It’s not just a one-off occurrence, but characterises how a person interacts with people. “We know that taking control of lifestyle habits improves the outlook for heart attack patients and our study suggests that improving hostile behaviours could also be a positive move.”

According to the researchers, to understand how hostility could affect future health outcomes, they assessed over 2,300 heart attack patients’ attitudes and behaviours over the course of two years.

Ultimately, the study discovered that having a more hostile attitude was associated with poorer health outcomes.

Hostility isn’t necessarily an indicator of future health concerns, as nearly 60 percent of the participants were categorised as having hostile attitudes, said researchers.

However, over the long-term, being angry and aggressive appeared to increase the likelihood that patients wouldn’t survive a subsequent heart attack.

Dr. Vitori stated that “there is much which cardiac patients can do to take control of their own health.

“From a physical side ─ smoking cessation, increase physical activity, and eat a balanced diet. Our study also indicates that managing hostile behaviours could be important.”

Thus on the need to pay attention to mental health, report says several recent studies have explored the ways mental health can have an effect on heart health, especially for young people.

Subsequently, the researchers hope that these findings inspire further research that can help medical professionals better understand why hostility is such an important component in heart attack recovery.

“Hostility has been linked with cardiovascular disease since the 1950s, but we still don’t fully understand why.

“Our study shows that hostility is a common trait in heart attack survivors and is associated with poor outcomes. More research is needed on how this characteristic affects the body,” Vitori added.

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