Psychology: For a healthier heart, turn into a shrinking violet
Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Friday 22 August 1997
Scientists at Edinburgh University who gave personality tests to 1,600 men and women found that submissiveness had little effect on a man's risk of having a heart attack but reduced the risk among women by nearly a third.
Dr Martha Whiteman, who led the research, said: "The people who scored highly on the submissiveness scale are content to be that way. They have not been forced to submit to anyone - it is their nature to be meek."
The findings, published in the Lancet, support the results of previous studies linking personality and mortality risk. Some studies have shown that aggressive, highly competitive people - those with Type A personalities - face a greater heart attack threat than placid Type B individuals.
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