(HealthDay News) — For patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), hostility predicts all-cause mortality but not recurrence, according to a study published online in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.

Tracey K. Vitori, PhD, RN, from the University of Tennessee College of Nursing in Knoxville, and colleagues examined whether hostility predicted ACS recurrence and mortality in a secondary analysis of data from 2321 participants from a large randomized clinical trial. The Multiple Adjective Affect Checklist (MAACL) was used to measure hostility; patients were followed for 24 months for ACS recurrence and all-cause mortality.

The researchers found that based on the established MAACL cut point, 57% of participants scored as hostile (mean score, 7.56 ± 3.8). Hostility independently predicted all-cause mortality but did not predict ACS recurrence.

“Hostility is a personality trait that includes being sarcastic, cynical, resentful, impatient, or irritable,” Vitori said in a statement. “It’s not just a one-off occurrence but characterizes how a person interacts with people. We know that taking control of lifestyle habits improves the outlook for heart attack patients and our study suggests that improving hostile behaviors could also be a positive move.”

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Vitori TK, Frazier SK, Biddle MJ, et al. Hostility predicts mortality but not recurrent acute coronary syndrome. Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. doi:10.1177/1474515120950913