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Life Sci. 2000;66(23):2267-75.

Plasma homocysteine concentrations are positively associated with hostility and anger.

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The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1222, USA.


Homocysteine is a sulphur amino acid that is positively associated with risk of vascular disease. Very few behavioral or psychological factors have been studied in relationship to homocysteine levels, despite the fact that several psychological factors have also been linked with risk for cardiovascular disease. One psychological attribute showing a strong association with risk is hostility, which is prospectively predictive of future cardiovascular disease endpoints. Another related psychological factor is anger expression; coronary heart disease risk is associated with both heightened expression and inhibition of anger. The purpose of this study was to test the relationship of hostility and anger expression with homocysteine concentrations in a sample of healthy, middle-aged men and women. Participants completed the Cook-Medley hostility questionnaire, the Speilberger Anger Expression questionnaire, and had blood taken for the assessment of plasma homocysteine concentrations. Results indicated positive and significant associations between hostility and homocysteine levels for all participants, and positive and significant correlations between anger-in and homocysteine levels for men only. These data are among the first to test the relationship between homocysteine and psychological risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, and suggest one potential mechanism for the increased cardiovascular risk associated with hostility and anger expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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