Cynical hostility might lead to cardiovascular disease

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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.
A newly released study found that people with heart failure who received the diabetes drug empagliflozin showed significant improvements in heart structure and function, with many experiencing a reversal of the disease. Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump blood effectively to other parts of the body, causing symptoms that include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, weakness and tiredness, and weight gain and swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, or stomach.
It may progress to congestive heart failure due to the buildup of fluids in the lungs, liver, and lower extremities. Underlying causes of heart failure include coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, obesity, heart valve disease, and diabetes.
Over time, these diseases may result in “adverse modeling,” which is the heart’s attempt to compensate for its added workload by getting larger, developing thicker walls, and pumping more frequently.

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