Cynical hostility is a personality trait characterised by general cynicism and mistrust in interpersonal relationships. It is believed to be associated with an increased risk of depression but few large-scale studies have been carried out. Researchers from France and University College London used data from a long-term study of 3,399 Whitehall civil servants. They filled out questionnaires to measure their level of cynical hostility at the start of the study (1985-1988) and their levels of depression were measured later (2002-2004). Even after adjusting for other factors the participants in the top quarter for levels of cynical hostility were over four-and-a-half times more likely to be depressed in 2002-4 than those in the bottom quarter.
Nabi, H. ... [et al] - Hostility and depressive mood: results from the Whitehall II prospective cohort study Psychological Medicine March 2010, 40(3), 405-413