After a three-year study, scientists decided to add another risk factor for heart disease on the list. Besides smoking, poor nutrition and insufficient exercise, hostile and controlling behaviour towards spouses have been found to have negative effects on hardening of the arteries, which leads to heart problems.

During the three-year study, 150 couples in their 60s, were placed in a lab where they would be given to fight over certain matters. During their 6-mintes encounters, researchers would be looking for the levels of hostility and efforts to take over the control. Then, they would be given CT scans to determine if there were any hardening of the arteries. In the end, it was concluded that partners who fight often are at great risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

These two negative effects, hostility and taking control had different effects on men and women. Women were found to be at danger of developing atherosclerosis if either of the parties were hostile. Men, on the other hand, had risk of coronary disease if either they or spouses tried to dominate over relationship and decisions. Women were found not to be affected by the dominance and men were not affected by presence of hostility.

Other scientists who have not participated in the study seem to agree with the stress-coronary connection.

These findings only confirm what I believed before and that is that we need to practice tolerance.