Trolls Die Young: Nasty People Have Higher Risk of Heart Attack and StrokePosted: September 9, 2010
by Lloyd Alter,
Dan Blankenhorn of Smart Planet was thinking of his commenters when he suggested that "trolls die young", based on a study researchers of the US National Institute on Aging. They looked at 5,614 Sardinians from four villages, and found that "those who scored high for antagonistic traits on a standard personality test had greater thickening of the neck (carotid) arteries compared to people who were more agreeable. Thickness of neck artery walls is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke."
The effect is quite pronounced; those in the bottom 10% of agreeableness, the most antagonistic, manipulative and quickest to anger had a 40% higher risk of thicker arterial walls, a known factor for cardiovascular disease.
From the press release:
"People who tend to be competitive and more willing to fight for their own self interest have thicker arterial walls, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease," said Angelina Sutin, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow with the National Institute on Aging, NIH, in Baltimore, Md. "Agreeable people tend to be trusting, straightforward and show concern for others, while people who score high on antagonism tend to be distrustful, skeptical and at the extreme cynical, manipulative, self-centered, arrogant and quick to express anger."
Dr. Sutin notes that while thickening of artery walls is a sign of age, young people with antagonistic traits already had thickening of the artery wall. Her prescription:
"People may learn to control their anger and learn ways to express anger in more socially acceptable ways"