Observed Hostility and the Risk of Incident Ischemic Heart Disease: A Prospective Population Study From the 1995 Canadian Nova Scotia Health Survey

Newman, Jonathan D.; Davidson, Karina W.; Shaffer, Jonathan A.; Schwartz, Joseph E.; Chaplin, William F.; Kirkland, Susan; Shimbo, Daichi


The aim of this study was to examine the relation between hostility and incident ischemic heart disease (IHD) and to determine whether observed hostility is superior to patient-reported hostility for the prediction of IHD in a large, prospective observational study.


Some studies have found that hostile patients have an increased risk of incident IHD. However, no studies have compared methods of hostility assessment or considered important psychosocial and cardiovascular risk factors as confounders. Furthermore, it is unknown whether all expressions of hostility carry equal risk or whether certain manifestations are more cardiotoxic.


We assessed the independent relationship between baseline observed hostility and 10-year incident IHD in 1,749 adults of the population-based Canadian Nova Scotia Health Survey.


There were 149 (8.5%) incident IHD events (140 nonfatal, 9 fatal) during the 15,295 person-years of observation (9.74 events/1,000 person-years). Participants with any observed hostility had a greater risk of incident IHD than those without (p = 0.02); no such relation was found for patient-reported hostility. Those with any observed hostility had a significantly greater risk of incident IHD (hazard ratio: 2.06, 95% confidence interval: 1.04 to 4.08, p = 0.04), after adjusting for cardiovascular (age, sex, Framingham Risk Score) and psychosocial (depression, positive affect, patient-reported hostility, and anger) risk factors.


The presence of any observed hostility at baseline was associated with a 2-fold increased risk of incident IHD over 10 years of follow-up. Compared with patient-reported measures, observed hostility is a superior predictor of IHD.

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Also Published In

Journal of the American College of Cardiology

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health
Published Here
July 12, 2016