Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hostility, drinking and death

Hostility - defined by psychologists as the willful refusal to accept that one's perceptions of the world are wrong not as anger or aggression - has been shown to predict the development of heart disease and raise the risk of death from other causes as well. Several studies have reported positive associations between hostility and alcohol consumption although they have only measured total alcohol intake rather than patterns of drinking. This is important as a pattern of heavy episodic drinking is worse for you than the same amount of alcohol spread out over a number of days. A study of 3,326 Vietnam veterans in the U.S. looked at their levels of hostility, their drinking patterns and their mortality and found that there was a link between hostility and total monthly intake of alcohol, drinks per drinking day and heavy episodic drinking and that hostility, drinks per drinking day, heavy episodic drinking and total monthly alcohol intake were all associated with an increased risk of death. The study concluded that high hostility was associated with elevated mortality and a deleterious drinking pattern characterized by relatively high intake per drinking session. The researchers suggested that this pattern of binge drinking among hostile people could help to explain why they tend to die earlier than other people.

Boyle, Stephen H. ... [et al] - Hostility, drinking pattern and mortality Addiction January 2008, 103(1), 54-59

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