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Antagonistic people are more likely to develop heart disease

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals who have aggressive, combative personalities may benefit from cholesterol testing to assess their heart health, as a new study has found that these personality traits are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

A team of researchers from the U.S. National Institute on Aging examined the personality types of 5,614 residents of four different Italian villages. They found that those who were more aggressive and confrontational were more likely to have thickened carotid arteries and higher cholesterol, two contributing factors to heart disease.

"People may learn to control their anger and learn ways to express anger in more socially acceptable ways," said Angelina Sutin, who led the investigation. "People who tend to be competitive and more willing to fight for their own self interest have thicker arterial walls, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease."

She added that doctors should begin taking personality traits into consideration when they are assessing which of their patients may be at risk for heart disease. This could help them identify individuals who could benefit from intervention at a younger age.

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