Cynical people are more at risk of developing heart disease, study finds

Hey you, calm down with your cynicism or risk getting heart disease in the future. That’s what a study from Baylor University has shown.

The study found that cynical people are more likely to develop heart disease because of their constant negative responses to stressful situations.

You see, BUZZ Fam, in most people, a stressful situation triggers a ‘fight or flight’ response. But if you experience the same situation again, then your body becomes attuned to it, and so its reaction is dampened.

But this doesn’t happen with people who are highly cynical. And so whenever they encounter the same stressful situation, they experience the high level of stress all over again. 

For the study, researchers conducted stress tests that lasted 15 to 20 minutes on 196 participants. They did this during two lab sessions about seven weeks apart.

They also completed a standard psychological scale to measure personality and temperament – specifically degrees of hostility that represent an individual’s disposition towards cynicism and chronic hate.

In the psychological stress portion of the study, participants were given five minutes to formulate a five-minute speech to defend themselves against a suspected transgression – either a traffic violation or shoplifting. They were told it would be videotaped and evaluated.

The volunteers were then asked to perform a five-minute mental arithmetic test, which varied slightly in each visit. Heart rate and blood pressure were recorded every two minutes during each phase. 

“These findings reveal a greater tendency to engage in cynical hostility – which appears to be extremely relevant in today’s political and health climate – can be harmful not only for our short-term stress responses but also our long-term health,” Lead author Alexandra Tyra said.

The study was published in the journal Psychophysiology.