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Introverts experience more health problems, study suggests

Date:
November 18, 2009
Source:
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research)
Summary:
People who experience a lot of negative emotions and do not express these experience more health problems, according to new research. Researchers discovered that heart failure patients with a negative outlook reported their complaints to a physician or nurse far less often. The personality of the partner can also exert a considerable influence on these patients.
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People who experience a lot of negative emotions and do not express these experience more health problems, says Dutch researcher Aline Pelle. She discovered that heart failure patients with a negative outlook reported their complaints to a physician or nurse far less often. The personality of the partner can also exert a considerable influence on these patients.

Aline Pelle investigated patients with a so-called type D personality. These people experience a lot of negative emotions and do not express these for fear of being rejected by others. It was already known that such a type of personality in heart failure patients is associated with anxiety and depression and a reduced state of health. However, Aline Pelle also described which processes might contribute to this.

Many of the patients with a negative outlook were found not to contact the physician or specialist nurse in the event of heart failure symptoms. As a result of this they were six times more likely to experience a worse state of health than non-type D heart failure patients.

Pelle established that not just the patient's personality but also that of the partner had a significant effect on the patient's mood. In particular, the combination within the couple proved to be particularly important. Type D patients with a non-type D partner reported the lowest marriage quality, even lower than that of type D patients with a partner with just as negative an outlook.

Although a type D personality is associated with a range of negative health outcomes, Pelle's results did not demonstrate a correlation with an increased risk of dying from heart failure. This observation refutes the results from a previous study.

Aline Pelle's research was part of Johan Denollet's Vici project. He received a Vici grant from NWO's Innovational Research Incentives Scheme in 2004.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). "Introverts experience more health problems, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091118120314.htm>.
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). (2009, November 18). Introverts experience more health problems, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091118120314.htm
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). "Introverts experience more health problems, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091118120314.htm (accessed July 29, 2015).

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