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Anger and hostility can be bad for your lungs, a new study suggests.
Researchers studied 670 men age 45 to 86. Initially, they gauged
anger and hostility, ranking each man on a scale of 7 to 37.
Then they measured lung function—how much air could be blown
out in one second—on three separate occasions over an average
of eight years.
Lung function was "significantly poorer" at the outset among those
deemed more angry and hostile, and it got worse with these men
at each examination. The findings held up after controlling for other
factors, such as smoking and education, the researchers reported
yesterday in the online version of the journal Thorax.
In a separate study last year, scientists concluded that in moderate
doses, anger can be good for you.
But hostility and anger have been associated with cardiovascular disease,
asthma, and death in other research. Changes in mood can have short
term effects on the lungs, the scientists said, and it might all have to do
with anger and hostility altering neurological and hormonal processes,
which in turn might disturb immune system activity, producing chronic inflammation, the scientists said.