The relationship between hostility and behavioral risk factors for poor health in women veterans.
BACKGROUND: While previous research has generally supported a relationship between hostility and health risk behaviors, the majority of this research has been conducted in predominately male, highly educated, Caucasian samples. The current study was designed to further examine the relationship between hostility and health risk behaviors in a sample of women. METHODS: Measures of health risk behavior and scores from the Cook-Medley hostility scale were obtained from 409 women veterans. Linear and logistic regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between hostility and health behaviors including tobacco smoking, alcohol use, body-mass index, caffeine use, and level of physical activity, after sociodemographic factors were accounted for. RESULTS: In a cohort of women veterans using VA health care, ages 35-81, hostility was significantly associated with tobacco smoking (OR = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.34 to 3.30), caffeine use (OR = 2.12; 95% CI = 1.16 to 3.85), and the number of alcoholic beverages consumed by women who drink alcohol. Hostility was not associated with body mass index (OR = 1.15; 95% CI = 0.77 to 1.72) or a lack of physical exercise (OR = 0.89; 95% CI = 0.55 to 1.43). CONCLUSIONS: Results are generally consistent with previous research and support the relationship between hostility and health risk behaviors. Awareness that hostility contributes to risk behaviors and disease may help in the design of interventions aimed at risk reduction.
Calhoun, PS; Bosworth, HB; Siegler, IC; Bastian, LA
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