Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Combination Of Personality Traits Increases Risk For Heart Disease

Date:
November 16, 2006
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
Frequent bouts of depression, anxiety, hostility and anger are known to increase a person's risk for developing coronary heart disease, but a combination of these "negative" personality traits may put people at especially serious risk, according to a study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

Frequent bouts of depression, anxiety, hostility and anger are known to increase a person's risk for developing coronary heart disease, but a combination of these "negative" personality traits may put people at especially serious risk, according to a study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

Related Articles


"The risk of developing coronary heart disease due to a combination of negative personality traits in people has never before been explored," said the study's senior investigator, Edward C. Suarez, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry. "Although each of the negative traits significantly predicted heart disease, having the combination of these traits was the most powerful predictor of heart disease."

Similar patterns have been reported with three traditional risk factors of heart disease -- high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and excessive weight -- where each factor independently increases risk but their presence together predicts a greater risk of future heart disease, Suarez said.

The findings appear in an early online edition of the November/December 2006 issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The team analyzed data on 2,105 military veterans who served in the Vietnam War and took part in the U.S. Air Force Health Study, in which researchers tracked the health of participants for 20 years. None of the men enrolled had heart disease when the study began.

At the start of the study, participants took a personality inventory test, called the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, in which they stated whether or not they thought of themselves as possessing various personality and behavioral traits. At six intervals during the study, the participants underwent physical examinations that recorded health information, including blood pressure rates, cholesterol levels and body mass index, that can indicate whether or not someone is at risk for developing coronary heart disease.

Suarez said his team looked for a possible correlation between each individual negative personality trait and development of coronary heart disease, and then for a possible correlation between a combination of the negative personality traits and the development of coronary heart disease.

The researchers found that each negative personality trait, by itself, was significantly associated with increased risk for heart disease. However, when they analyzed all of the traits in combination, they found statistical evidence that the clustering of traits was the best predictor of a person's risk for heart disease, Suarez said.

According to the researchers, the findings may prompt physicians to include an assessment of personality traits as well as physical health measurements in determining a patient's overall risk for heart disease.

"In the future, doctors may wish to explore the use of earlier interventions aimed at diminishing negative personality traits in people who may be most at risk for future heart disease," Suarez said.

Although the study's findings are suggestive, the study had several limitations, Suarez said. Among them, he said, the participants were all men, and most of them were white, and so the findings cannot be generalized with certainty to nonwhites and females.

His team currently is designing a comprehensive intervention program to help patients learn to cope with their feelings of hostility, anger, anxiety and depression as well as reduce their physical risk factors for heart disease.

"We want to help people at earlier points in their life by teaching them ways to cope with problems and how to make wiser choices that promote health," Suarez said. "By helping them before they ever show clinical signs of heart disease, we may be able to help them avoid the disease altogether."

Other researchers involved in the study were Stephen Boyle of Duke University Medical Center and Joel Michalek of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Combination Of Personality Traits Increases Risk For Heart Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061116122150.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2006, November 16). Combination Of Personality Traits Increases Risk For Heart Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061116122150.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Combination Of Personality Traits Increases Risk For Heart Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061116122150.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins