Want hypertension? Hurry up!

CHICAGO, Nov. 20 Young adults who fume at the slowpoke ahead of them on the freeway may be racing toward high blood pressure, researchers reported today at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2002.

This pioneer study examined the relationship between the feeling of being pressed for time and impatience with the development of hypertension in young urban adults. Time urgency/impatience (TUI) is a major component of so-called Type A behavior patterns. Other characteristics of Type A are competitiveness, hostility, tenseness and aggressiveness.

"Our findings indicate that TUI assessed during young adulthood is associated with increased risk of hypertension years later," says lead author LiJing L. Yan, Ph.D., research assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. "In general, the stronger the feelings of impatience and time pressure, the higher the risk of developing hypertension in the long term."

Numerous studies have examined the intense traits that characterize Type A personality and their potential effects on health. But results have been inconsistent, leading some researchers to explore whether different components of Type A have different health risks.

"The TUI component of Type A is characterized by a persistent preoccupation with time and pronounced impatience," she says. "To our knowledge, this is the first study to concentrate on the relationship between TUI and hypertension, a very common health condition and a strong risk factor for heart disease.

"In the past, more attention has been paid to the hostility component in Type A, but TUI has never been adequately examined as a separate trait, despite suggestions that it may be linked to adverse health outcomes."

Researchers at Northwestern University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, used information from the large-scale CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Ad

Contact: Carole Bullock
American Heart Association

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