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Wednesday, September 22, 2010


In the Washington Post (09/14/10) "The Checkup" blog, Rob Stein wrote that research reported in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes suggests people with type D personalities may be "prone to heart problems." These people tend "to experience a lot of negative emotions, such as pessimism, anxiety, irritation, depressed mood," don't often share their emotions, and fear disapproval.

According to US News & World Report (09/14/10, Haupt), type D personalities "are at three times the risk for future heart problems, including peripheral artery disease, heart failure, and death, compared to more optimistic sorts." Researchers "analyzed 49 previous studies involving more than 6,000 people" to arrive at their conclusions. Barry Jacobs, a clinical psychologist and American Heart Association spokesman, said, "It really adds weight to the argument that this core, hostile personality is a concern -- or ought to be a concern -- for people who have it."

According to MedPage Today (09/14/10, Walsh), the researchers wrote that "there are plausible biological and behavioral pathways linking type D to cardiac risk," as "this personality type is associated with elevations in blood pressure, heart rate, and cardiac output, as well as with increases in the activity of proinflammatory cytokines," increased cortisol, and increased oxidative stress. "In addition, patients with the distressed personality type D, also are less likely to seek timely medical care or to adhere to medication, according to the researchers."

Steven Almany, MD

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