Linkages between facial expressions of anger and transient myocardial ischemia in men with coronary artery disease

Emotion. 2001 Jun;1(2):107-15. doi: 10.1037/1528-3542.1.2.107.


The authors examined whether facial expressions of emotion would predict changes in heart function. One hundred fifteen male patients with coronary artery disease underwent the Type A Structured Interview, during which time measures of transient myocardial ischemia (wall motion abnormality and left ventricular ejection fraction) were obtained. Facial behavior exhibited during the ischemia measurement period was videotaped and later coded by using the Facial Action Coding System (P. Ekman & W. V. Friesen, 1978). Those participants who exhibited ischemia showed significantly more anger expressions and nonenjoyment smiles than nonischemics. Cook-Medley Hostility scores did not vary with ischemic status. The findings have implications for understanding how anger and hostility differentially influence coronary heart disease risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anger*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / psychology
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Ischemia / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Ischemia / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index