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Cynical hostility might lead to cardiovascular disease

According to a Baylor University-led study that appeared in the September 2020 issue of Psychophysiology, cynical hostility may cause an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.The findings resulted from data collected from 196 participants in a stress test conducted by the Laboratory for the Study of Stress, Immunity, and Disease at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Participants took part in two lab sessions, 7 weeks apart. Sessions consisted of establishing a 20-minute baseline and a 15-minute psychological stress test. Researchers recorded each person’s heart rate and blood pressure, and the participants completed a standard psychological scale to determine their personality and temperament. The sessions involved placing participants in reasonably stressful situations, for example, asking them to take 5 minutes to prepare and then deliver a speech defending themselves from traffic violations or shoplifting accusations. All participants knew that the researchers would record and evaluate them. As Alexandra T. Tyra, a doctoral candidate in psychology and neuroscience and the lead study author, explains, “These methods of social and self-evaluation are designed to increase the experience of stress and have been validated in prior research.” Tyra’s team looked at three types of hostility: cognitive, which includes cynical hostility; emotional hostility, which links to chronic anger; and behavioral hostility, which involves verbal and physical aggression. Following the study, the Baylor University team believes the outcome of its research is very timely. It comes near the end of a year of extremes, dominated end-to-end by intense political debates and social commentary. Some might find it natural to approach each adverse circumstance with excessive cynical hostility. However, these harsh stances might not be worth the added risk to a person’s cardiovascular health.(Credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

Link of bisexuality to smoking

Previous research suggests that LGB+ individuals are more likely to smoke cigarettes. However, a new study from the School of Public Health at Boston University (BU), MA, looks more closely at sexual identity and smoking. The research finds that the association applies only to bisexual people, primarily during the first 3 years after coming out. People coming out as bisexual are twice as likely to start smoking after coming out when compared to heterosexual, lesbian, gay, or other non-heterosexual people. According to Andrew Stokes, the study’s corresponding author, the new research “highlights the importance of moving beyond static measures of sexual identity towards more dynamic measures that capture critical periods of vulnerability.” This shift in the researchers’ perspectives, says lead author and doctoral candidate Alyssa Harlow, “turned out to be really important because it revealed disparities that would have otherwise been missed if we measured identity at one time point, or grouped all LGB+ identities together.” Individuals who had maintained the same LGB+ status throughout the 3 years were no more likely to smoke than people with a constant heterosexual identification. The bisexual individuals who had just come out — moving from one identity to another during the 3-year survey period — were found to be the only group that was twice as likely to start smoking. (Credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)