Hostile, angry children are three times more likely to grow up to have heart disease than calmer, happier kids. Researchers found that children with high scores on tests for hostility were more likely to have developed “metabolic syndrome” when they were re-tested three years later. Metabolic syndrome includes obesity, insulin resistance and high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease or diabetes–but the anger comes first. “The hostility seemed to precede metabolic syndrome,” says psychologist Kristen Salomon, who says this disease process starts very early in life.
“Parents should be aware of what their kids eat and how much exercise they take, but it is also important to focus on psychological factors and treat these early on,” Salomon says.Certain personality types have long been associated with heart disease in adults. The “type A personality”?pressured, always in a hurry, success-oriented, perfectionist?was linked to heart disease in the past. But recent research shows that only the hostility actually leads to heart disease.
An international research team studied 134 children aged 8 to 10 and 15 to 17. Their hostility was tested by methods such as cutting them short when they replied to a question. Hostile kids would raise their voices or make snide remarks in response. When the same tests were repeated 3 years later, the formerly hostile kids were three times more likely to be heading for heart disease.
Salomon says hostile people live less healthy lives, which might explain their greater risk of heart disease, especially when it comes to obesity and related insulin resistance. Hostility is also higher in people from lower socioeconomic groups. She says, “Perhaps people who experience the world as being a stressful place may develop hostility in response to the environment?.”
Living in this world can kill you, if you’re not careful to practice Inner Peace.
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