Anger, Hostility, and the Heart

Anger, Hostility, and the Heart

Anger, Hostility, and the Heart

Anger, Hostility, and the Heart

Synopsis

Research on the roles played by hostility and anger in the etiology and course of coronary heart disease (CHD) has mushroomed. Moreover, there has been considerable progress in the knowledge of neurohormonal correlates of anger and hostility that could conceivably play a role in the pathogenesis of CHD. The editors of this volume believe that this is the appropriate time in the history of coronary-prone behavior research to take stock -- to identify the basic questions that need further elucidation, and to provide future direction. Although there is a surprising consensus among the contributors about the nature of the critical issues, they each offer a somewhat different perspective. This book will provide a variety of perspectives on what is known and what still needs to be known -- a useful source for promising research hypotheses.

Excerpt

Aron Wolfe Siegman University of Maryland Baltimore County

Timothy W. Smith University of Utah

It is only 7 years since Margaret Chesney and Ray Rosenman (1985) presented us with their book, Anger and Hostility in Cardiovascular and Behavioral Disorders, and one can reasonably ask: Is there a need for yet another book on the same topic? Our justification for presenting this edited book is that Chesney and Rosenman offered theirs just about the time that Dembroski and associates (Dembroski &MacDougall, 1985; Dembroski,MacDougall,Williams ,Haney, &Blumenthal, 1985) proposed the hypothesis that hostility was the "toxic" component of the then extremely popular Type A behavior pattern construct, although at the time the evidence regarding its validity was still quite scant. Since then, research not only on the role of hostility but also on that of anger in the etiology and course of coronary heart disease (CHD) has mushroomed. Moreover, there has been considerable progress in our knowledge of the neurohormonal correlates of anger and hostility that are likely to play a role in the pathogenesis of CHD. This is not to imply that the evidence in support of a positive relationship between anger and hostility, and CHD is unanimously positive, or that all the steps that are involved in the translation of anger and hostility into the CHD disease process have been clearly established. Far from it. We do believe, however, that this is the appropriate time in the history of coronary-prone behavior research to take stock: to identify the basic questions that need further elucidation and to provide direction for where we go from here. Even in the absence of definitive answers, it is becoming increasingly clear what the basic questions are, and we have promising leads for the solution of many of these questions.

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