Avances en Psicología Latinoamericana
Print version ISSN 1794-4724
PALMERO, Francisco et al. Hostility, psychophysiology and cardiovascular health. Av. Psicol. Latinoam. [online]. 2007, vol.25, n.1, pp. 22-43. ISSN 1794-4724.
Cardiovascular diseases represent one of the main causes of death in our days. In addition to the classic factors of risk, there is the possibility that other variables, like the psychological ones, are also implied in this disease. Concretely, the complex anger-hostility is the one that is receiving greater attention from researchers. Possible entailment of an emotional variable in the cardiovascular disease is supported by psychophysiological evidence. In this sense, the hypothesis of the cardiovascular reactivity has been used as an argument to understand how a psychological variable can affect the cardiovascular system, by the effects that produce in the sequence and frequency with which the blood runs through the cardiovascular system. The present situation seems to emphasize that is necessary to establish some conceptual adjustments with respect to hostility. Defensive hostility concept could be the best one to explain the greater predisposition to this type of disease. Also, as far as the psychophysiological methodology, it seems pertinent to consider the three classic parameters in psychophysiology, this is, frequency, intensity and duration. Frequency and intensity have been taken into account. We consider that the inclusion of duration might represent important added information that helps us understand the existing connection between psychological variables and physiological disease.
Keywords : cardiovascular disease; health psychology; anger; hostility; psychophysiology.