Hostility Plus Metabolic Syndrome in Men Increases Heart Attack Risk

Published: August 23, 2012

Individuals with metabolic syndrome and high hostility levels have a four-fold risk of having a heart attack compared to those without these cardiovascular risk factors, according to researchers.

While evidence suggests that the metabolic syndrome and hostility are independent risk factors for the development of heart disease, the combined effect of these two factors on the incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) has rarely been studied.

Dr. John F. Todaro, of Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island prospectively examined the effect of having both metabolic syndrome and hostility on the frequency of heart attacks in 754 men (average age 59 years) who participated in the Normative Aging Study. At baseline, the subjects were free of heart disease and diabetes. 27% met the criteria for having metabolic syndrome. The subjects were categorized as having high or low hostility levels.

The subjects were followed for an average of 13.8 years. Subjects with high hostility levels and the metabolic syndrome had a more than 4 times greater risk of having a heart attack.

“Psychological factors need to be assessed by primary care doctors and cardiologists, since hostility and other negative emotions (e.g. depression) seem to play a role in the development of heart disease in otherwise healthy individuals,” Dr. Todaro said in an interview. “Individuals who notice that they experience feelings of anger and hostility often, should mention these feelings to their doctor and seek help… We need to better understand how hostility influences the development of CHD,” he said. “Is it through physiologic mechanisms, behavioral mechanisms, or both?”

As metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and hostility associated with depression can both be caused by a low testosterone level in men, this factor should be looked for and addressed in any man with these medical problems, as it is easily addressed with bioidentical natural testosterone. To find a physician trained in this area (they will usually be holistic) go to

The results of the study are published in the July 2005 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.


Am J Cardiol July 2005; 96:221-226.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. His newest book (June 10, 2024) is You Can Heal From Long COVID. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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