, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 229-243

Hostility Predicts Magnitude and Duration of Blood Pressure Response to Anger

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Abstract

The hypothesis that hostile and nonhostile individuals would differ in both magnitude and duration of cardiovascular reactivity to relived anger was tested. Participants were 66 older adults (mean age, 62; 38 women and 28 men; 70% Caucasian American, 30% African American). Each took part in a structured interview scored using the Interpersonal Hostility Assessment Technique. Later each relived a self-chosen anger memory while heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured continuously using an Ohmeda Finapres monitor. Hostile participants had larger and longer-lasting blood pressure responses to anger. African Americans also showed longer-lasting blood pressure reactivity to anger. Health and measurement implications are discussed.