Hostile people are more likely to suffer a heart attack, new research indicates.
A team at the University of Utah found that individuals whose partners considered them antagonistic were more likely to have calcium build-up in their arteries.
Calcium build-up is associated with narrowing of the arteries and results in an increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
The study, which was published in Psychosomatic Medicine, examined 300 middle-aged and older married couples in which neither partner had heart disease.
The link between argumentativeness and heart risk was strongest in older, as opposed to middle-aged, couples.
The findings suggest that antagonism, which comes under the umbrella term hostility, is particularly damaging.
Psychologists define antagonism as the tendency to be suspicious of others, argumentative, competitive or emotionally cold.
Lead researcher Dr Timothy W Smith advised further investigation to help determine why hostile individuals have a higher chance of developing cardiovascular disease.