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“It would appear,” he said with a hint of anger in his voice, “that I’m screwed.”

From The Register today:

Irascible, grumpy cynics have a significantly higher risk of suffering heart attacks and strokes compared to mellow, amiable, trusting people, according to a new study.

Researchers carrying out a survey found that “antagonistic” subjects – that is, those who were assessed as competitive, aggressive, manipulative or “quick to express anger” – showed noticeably thickened carotid arteries under ultrasound compared to “agreeable” types.

Apparently I could improve my odds if I were to demonstrate more of the “six facets of agreeableness”:

trust, straightforwardness, altruism, compliance, modesty and tender mindedness.

Tender mindedness?

“People who tend to be competitive and more willing to fight for their own self interest have thicker arterial walls, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease …

“Agreeable people tend to be trusting, straightforward and show concern for others, while people who score high on antagonism tend to be distrustful, skeptical and at the extreme cynical, manipulative, self-centered, arrogant and quick to express anger.”

I regularly have contact with devious, dangerous, conniving criminals.  Then I go to work.  But all I would have to do to reduce the chance of having a heart attack is become a doormat.

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