This paper examines the association between trait anger and subclinical carotid artery atherosclerosis among 14,098 Black or White men and women, aged 48-67 years, in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study cohort, 1990-1992. Trait anger was assessed using the 10-item Spielberger Trait Anger Scale. Carotid atherosclerosis was determined by an averaged measure of the wall intimal-medial thickness (IMT) of the carotid bifurcation and of the internal and common carotids, measured by high-resolution B-mode ultrasound. In the full study cohort, trait anger and carotid IMT were significantly and positively associated (p = 0.04). In race-gender stratified analysis, the association was strongest and independent only in Black men, among whom a significant trait anger-carotid IMT relation was observed for both the overall trait anger measure (p = 0.004) and the anger reaction dimension (p = 0.001). In Black men, carotid IMT levels increased across categories of overall trait anger and anger reaction, resulting in clinically significant differences (67 μm (95% confidence interval: 23, 110) and 82 μm (95% confidence interval: 40, 125), respectively) from low to high anger. Sociodemographic, lifestyle, anthropometric, and biologic cardiovascular disease risk factors appear to mediate the relation in Black women, White men, and White women. In conclusion, these findings document disparate race-gender patterns in the association of trait anger with subclinical carotid artery atherosclerosis.
- Carotid arteries
- Continental population groups
- Stress, psychological