Unpleasant People May Be More Prone to Stroke


People with antagonistic or disagreeable personalities have vascular abnormalities that may make them more prone to strokes and perhaps other cardiovascular events, researchers said.

Carotid artery intima-media thickness, which is linked to stroke risk, was significantly greater in individuals who rated low on a scale of agreeableness, reported Angelina Sutin, PhD, of the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues.

In a study of 5,614 residents of the Italian island of Sardinia, those ranking in the lowest 10% of agreeableness had an odds ratio of 1.40 (95% CI 1.04 to 1.87) for being in the top quartile of carotid intima-media thickness, the researchers found, after adjusting for cholesterol levels, smoking status, and numerous other risk factors.

They also found that an antagonistic personality predicted increased thickening over approximately three years of follow-up.

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