Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Covert copers and heart problems

Not everyone copes with conflicts at work head on. Some people let things pass without saying anything, others walk away from conflict, some develop physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches while others get into a bad temper at home. Collectively these responses are known as 'covert coping' and new research suggests that they may significantly increase people's risk of a heart attack. Researchers from the Stress Research Unit at Stockholm University studied 2,700 people from 1992-2003. They asked them how they coped with conflict. By the end of the study 47 men had had a heart attack or died from heart disease. Men who tackled conflict in an open way by talking to people or getting angry had no increased risk of a heart attack but covert copers had double the risk. Those who sometimes or often walked away from conflict had three times the risk of heart problems.

You can find out more about this research at


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