Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 21–29

Shared and unique contributions of anger, anxiety, and depression to coronary heart disease: A prospective study in the normative aging study

  • Laura D. Kubzansky
  • Stephen R. Cole
  • Ichiro Kawachi
  • Pantel Vokonas
  • David Sparrow
Article

DOI: 10.1207/s15324796abm3101_5

Cite this article as:
Kubzansky, L.D., Cole, S.R., Kawachi, I. et al. ann. behav. med. (2006) 31: 21. doi:10.1207/s15324796abm3101_5
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Abstract

Background: Anger, anxiety, and depression have each been identified as risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD). Whether the apparent risk is a function of unique aspects of each emotion or due to a shared underlying dimension of negative affectivity is unclear.Purpose: The goal of this study was to assess shared and unique contributions of anger, anxiety, and depression to incidentCHD. Methods: Data are from the Veterans Administration Normative Aging Study, an ongoing cohort of older men. Measures of anger, anxiety, and depression were obtained from 1,306 men completing the revised Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory in 1986. From these measures we derived three nearorthogonal scales termed iso(lated)-anger, iso-anxiety, and iso-depression and a fourth scale measuring general distress.Results: During an average of 10.9 years of follow-up, 161 cases of incident CHD occurred. When considered individually, iso-anxiety, iso-anger, and shared general distress were each associated with CHD risk. When all emotions were considered simultaneously, only iso-anxiety and shared general distress were associated with incidentCHD. Conclusions: Considering shared versus unique aspects of negative emotions may clarify the nature of their apparent toxicity in relation toCHDsrisk. General distress shared across negative emotions is an important component in the emotionCHD relation. Aspects of anxiety may also independently increaseCHD risk.

Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura D. Kubzansky
    • 1
  • Stephen R. Cole
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ichiro Kawachi
    • 4
  • Pantel Vokonas
    • 4
  • David Sparrow
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public HealthBoston
  2. 2.Department of Veterans Affairs Medical CenterNormative Aging StudyUSA
  3. 3.Boston University School of MedicineUSA
  4. 4.Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthUSA
  5. 5.Department of Veterans Affairs Medical CenterChanning Laboratory and Harvard Medical School Normative Aging StudyUSA
  6. 6.Boston University School of MedicineUSA

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