SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News)- Psychologists would say a positive self image is important, but now it appears men who are really full of themselves could be hurting their health.
A study conducted by the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia shows narcissism can lead to unhealthy levels of the hormone cortisol in men.
Ashley McMullin is a University of Utah student and says she knows men who meet the definition. "They are really into themselves and they care more about themselves than other people.”
The research shows men who are narcissistic may not like what it's doing to them. The study of 106 undergraduate students shows it leads to the production of high levels of cortisol. University of Utah endocrinologist, Wayne Meikle explains it is a hormone important for survival. "Cortisol is a major hormone that is made by the adrenal gland and it's important for us for survival, for maintaining glucose levels, and responding to stress, and also it has anti-inflammatory action"
But too much of it can lead to high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and more abdominal fat.
Dr. Meikle says everyone releases cortisol when in stressful situations, but according to the study narcissistic men release it even when they aren’t stressed. The same reaction was not found in the women.
The possibility of obesity and heart attacks has some men taking the new research to heart.
Benny Hienrichs, a student at the U of U says "I’m going to need ego suction."