An exploration of the relation between hostility and disease

J Behav Med. 1997 Jun;20(3):223-40. doi: 10.1023/a:1025538926879.


Hostility has been studied mainly in relation to coronary heart disease (CHD). However, given the pathways linking hostility to CHD, it might be expected that hostility also relates to non-CHD. Therefore, the relation between the expression and the experience of hostility and various health outcomes was examined in a cross-sectional design. The data were collected among male patients with a myocardial infarction in the age range of 30-70 years (N = 279) and a population sample of men in the same age group (N = 2663). Based on checklist of the most frequent disorders, the subjects from the latter group were divided into subsamples according to their disease status. Three components of hostility, i.e., resentment, suspicion, and aggression, were measured by the Buss Durkee Hostility Inventory (Buss & Durkee, 1957). The overall finding was that all components of hostility were related to non-CHD disease but not to CHD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Causality
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease / psychology*
  • Epidemiologic Factors*
  • Hostility*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors