Heart attack patients who are sarcastic or hostile could be jeopardising their health further, according to new research.
A study from the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, has claimed those who are sarcastic, irritable or hostile, need to adjust this behaviour, in order to improve their health.
Dr Tracey Vitori, of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in the U.S, said: "Hostility is a personality trait that includes being sarcastic, cynical, resentful, impatient or irritable.
"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."
The study was one of the largest, most comprehensive ever carried out into the issue of hostility and outcomes in heart attack patients.
2,321 heart attack survivors were featured in the research. Hostility was measured using a checklist for 24 months, focusing on recurrent heart attacks and death.
The average age of participants was 67 and 68pc were men. 57pc of the patients were scored as hostile according to the report.
It found hostility was an “independent predictor” of dying from a second heart attack when other factors were taken into consideration, including sex, age, education, marital status, diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking.
However, Dr Vitori added that hostility was in no way, a way to predict recurrent heart attacks.
“Hostility has been linked with cardiovascular disease since the 1950s, but we still don't fully understand why,” she said.
“Our study shows that hostility is a common trait in heart attack survivors and is associated with poor outcomes. More research is needed on how this characteristic affects the body."
The research also highlighted anxiety and depression are typically measured in patients.
Dr Vitori said: "There is much cardiac patients can do to take control of their own health. From a physical side - smoking cessation, increase physical activity and eat a balanced diet. Our study also indicates that managing hostile behaviors could be important."