Relationship of Trait Anger to Resting Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis

Jerry Suls, C. K. Wan, Paul T. Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A series of meta-analyses were conducted to assess whether anger is related to essential hypertension. The present review also considered the relevance of the distinction between anger experience and anger expression, the effect of participant selection bias, and the white-coat hypertension effect for the anger-blood pressure (BP) association. Anger experience was correlated with elevated BP, but the relationship was small and highly variable. When positive effects emerged, both participant selection and the reliability of BP measurement posed interpretational problems. Persons high in anger are not merely exhibiting elevated BP in response to testing, so a white-coat effect is not evident. Being labeled as hypertensive may contribute to higher anger scores, however. The review suggests lines of future research concerning associations between trait anger and blood pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-456
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1995
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • anger
  • blood pressure
  • hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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