Men with negative personalities may face risk of developing coronary heart disease, says a new study.
Researchers led by Edward Suarez at Duke University studied 2,105 white men who had served in the US Air Force during the Vietnam War.
The men got heart checkups and completed personality surveys to gauge their anger, hostility, depression and anxiety over a period of 15 years, reported the online edition of health magazine WebMD.
Each of these traits independently predicted heart disease. But the mix of these traits 'was the most powerful predictor of heart disease', said Suarez.
Suarez and colleagues are designing a comprehensive intervention programme to help patients handle negative feelings and cut heart risks.
'We want to help people at earlier points in their life by teaching them ways to cope with problems and how to make wiser choices that promote health,' said Suarez.
'By helping them before they show clinical signs of heart disease, we may be able to help them avoid the disease altogether,' he added.
But the study, published online in Psychosomatic Medicine, doesn't warn against normal negative behaviour most people experience from time to time.
The study has certain limitations since all participants were male veterans and most were white. It's not clear if the findings apply to women or other groups of people.
The researchers also warn that many other factors-including smoking, diabetes, and excess weight-also affect heart disease.