Purpose: This study explored relationships of anger and anger expression to cardiovascular (CV) risk factors and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in Korean women based on hwa-byung (HB) symptoms. Methods: A descriptive, comparative design was used. One-hundred four women who are from 20 to 65. years old were recruited. Based on the HB score, 22 women indicated for HB and the rest were classified as normal. Data collection was done with several questionnaires including HB symptom scale, state-trait anger expression inventory, and GI symptom questionnaire and clinical information. Results: Women with HB demonstrated significantly higher levels of trait anger and dysfunctional anger expression such as anger suppression and anger expression than normal group. Although blood pressure was higher in women with HB, the differences were not significant. Self-report of GI symptoms were significantly more in women with HB, however no significant difference was found in gastroscopy results. Conclusions: Women with HB were younger and might lack of sufficient social support. This study suggests relationship of anger and anger expression to functional GI symptoms. Characteristics of women with HB should be considered in developing intervention programs for healthy coping. Future studies need more women with HB for better comparison.
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