Association of Type D personality with unhealthy lifestyle, and estimated risk of coronary events in the general Icelandic population

E. Svansdóttir, J. Denollet, B. Thorsson, T. Gudnason, S. Halldorsdottir, V. Gudnason, K.C. van den Broek, D. Karlsson

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Type D personality is associated with an increased morbidity and mortality risk in cardiovascular disease patients, but the mechanisms explaining this risk are unclear. We examined whether Type D was associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors, estimated risk of developing CAD, and previous cardiac events.
Cross-sectional study in the general Icelandic population.Methods: A random sample of 4753 individuals (mean age 49.1 ± 12.0 years; 49% men) from the REFINE-Reykjavik study completed assessments for Type D personality and conventional CAD risk factors. Ten-year risk of developing CAD was estimated with the Icelandic risk calculator.
Type D personality (22% of sample) was associated with a higher prevalence of hypertension (35 vs. 31%, p = 0.009), but less use of hypertension medication (58 vs. 65%, p = 0.013) in hypertensives, more diabetes (6 vs. 4%, p = 0.023), wider waist circumference (p = 0.007), and elevated body mass index (p = 0.025) and blood lipids (p < 0.05). Type D individuals reported less physical exercise (p = 0.000) and more current (26 vs. 21%, p = 0.003) and former smoking (48 vs. 44%, p = 0.036). Estimates of 10-year risk of CAD were higher in Type D individuals (12.4%, 95% CI 1.9 to 23.8%), and Type Ds reported more previous cardiac events than non-Type Ds (5 vs. 3%, p < 0.01; OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.21 to 2.42).
In the general Icelandic population, Type D personality was associated with differences in lifestyle-related CAD risk factors, a higher estimated risk of developing CAD, and higher incidence of previous cardiac events. Unhealthy lifestyles may partly explain the adverse cardiovascular effect of Type D personality.
Keywords: Coronary artery disease, gender differences, general population, personality, REFINE-Reykjavik Study, risk factors, risk assessment, unhealthy lifestyle behaviours
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-330
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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