Heart attack patients who are hostile may be increasing their risk of dying from another heart attack, according to the University of Tennessee.
Their study suggests it's important to have a positive attitude as pessimists are less likely to look after their wellbeing.
The relationship between hostility and heart attack patients' outcomes was considered by Dr Tracey Vitori and six others in one of the most comprehensive studies ever done on the links between hostility and heart attacks.
"It's not just a one-off occurrence but characterises how a person interacts with people," she says.
"We know that taking control of lifestyle habits improves the outlook for heart attack patients and our study suggests that improving hostile behaviours could also be a positive move. Hostility is a common trait in heart attack survivors and is associated with poor outcomes."
The researchers tracked 2321 heart attack survivors and hostility was measured according to the Multiple Adjective Affect Checklist (MAACL) in their journal article.
Sarcasm, resentment, impatience, cynicism and irritability are all considered signs of having a hostile personality trait.
Heart disease is commonly associated with depression and anxiety and the paper suggests that adding an assessment of hostility may aid in the identification of patients who are at risk of a premature death.
Over half of the patients (57 percent) studied were considered hostile when ranked by the MAACL.