Habitual anger-coping styles: I. Effect on mean blood pressure and risk for essential hypertension.
In this study we examined the effect(s) of race, sex socioecological stress, and habitual anger-coping systolic/diastolic blood pressure levels and risk for being classified hypotensive. A total of 495 black/white males and 511 black/white females, residing in high/low stress areas of Detroit, were classified in terms of high, medium, and low levels of anger expression to various provocative interpersonal situations. Results indicated that: 1) race and anger expression were major determinants of diastolic pressure; 2) race and sex influence systolic pressure; 3) anger expression was related to systolic pressure, but only for female respondents; 4) all four behavioral factors were independently related to one's relative risk of being labeled hypertensive; and 5) the odds of being hypertensive by a multiple 1.56 with the addition of each behavioral risk factor. These findings extended our understanding of both the important role played by sociodemographic factors and socioecological niche in predisposing humans to vascular disease and the magnitude of difference in mean blood pressure and risk for hypertension attributable to chronic suppressed anger. The present finding also provide a basis for identifying subgroups of individuals who are especially at risk for hypertension and, similarly, a basis on which to calculate the amount of potential therapeutic benefit resulting from attempts at modifying one or more risk factors.
Gentry, WD; Chesney, AP; Gary, HE; Hall, RP; Harburg, E
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