High prevalence of hostility symptoms in young coronary artery disease patients

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Young coronary artery disease patients have a higher prevalence of hostility than older patients with the disease, researchers explain in the current issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The authors say reducing hostility in these patients should be part of a rehabilitation program.

Of the 500 patients in the study, hostility scores were 2.5 times higher in patients under 50 ("younger patients") than in those 65 and older.

"Our study data reveal the high prevalence of hostility symptoms in young coronary artery disease patients," says Carl Lavie, M.D., a cardiologist at Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans and the chief author of the study. "We believe that reducing hostility and other distress, particularly in young coronary artery disease patients, should be emphasized in rehabilitation following a heart attack."

Dr. Lavie and Richard Milani, M.D., also of the Ochsner Clinic Foundation, sought to determine the prevalence of hostility in young coronary artery disease patients because recent data indicate that they have a poor long-term prognosis, and that hostility is associated with premature coronary artery disease and heart attack.

The researchers noted that after cardiac rehabilitation, young patients with hostility symptoms had marked improvements in coronary artery disease risk factors, behavior characteristics and quality of life, and a nearly 50 percent reduction in the prevalence of hostility symptoms.

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