Cynical hostility might lead to cardiovascular disease

ISLAMABAD, November 22 (online):   In today’s turbulent political climate, hostility is becoming an increasingly familiar part of everyday life. This negative environment not only makes it uncomfortable to socialize, but prolonged, cynical hostility may pose a serious health issue.

According to study cynical hostility may cause an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

The findings resulted from data collected from 196 participants in a stress test conducted by the Laboratory for the Study of Stress, Immunity, and Disease at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Participants took part in two lab sessions, 7 weeks apart. Sessions consisted of establishing a 20-minute baseline and a 15-minute psychological stress test.

Researchers recorded each person’s heart rate and blood pressure, and the participants completed a standard psychological scale to determine their personality and temperament.

The sessions involved placing participants in reasonably stressful situations, for example, asking them to take 5 minutes to prepare and then deliver a speech defending themselves from traffic violations or shoplifting accusations. All participants knew that the researchers would record and evaluate them.

A doctoral candidate in psychology and neuroscience and the lead study author, explains, “These methods of social and self-evaluation are designed to increase the experience of stress and have been validated in prior research.”

Tyra’s team looked at three types of hostility: cognitive, which includes cynical hostility; emotional hostility, which links to chronic anger; and behavioral hostility, which involves verbal and physical aggression.

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