Role of personality in cardiovascular diseases: An issue that needs to be focused too!

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This review provides a broad overview of the relationship of personality with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). There has been a sustained interest over the last half a century on the issue of relationship between personality traits and CVDs. Type A behavior was the initial focus of inquiry as it was observed that individuals who were competitive, hostile, and excessively driven were overrepresented among patients seeking treatment for CVDs and also were prone to develop coronary artery disease/syndrome. However, the research gradually expanded to assess the relationship of cardiac morbidity with various other personality facets. Furthermore, studies found out that negative effects (including anger and hostility) were also associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Subsequently, a new personality entity named as the type D ‘distressed’ personality, which combined negative affectivity and social inhibition. type D personality then became the area of research and was demonstrated to be related with poorer cardiac outcomes. Interestingly, the results of various research studies are not equivocal, and hence, there are several critiques related to the current understanding of the link between personality construct and the risk of development as well as the outcome of CVDs. Furthermore, few personality traits such as optimism, conscientiousness, openness to experience, and curiosity have been found to be protective factors against development of CVDs and therefore are called ‘cardioprotective’ personality traits. A detailed discussion on the various aspects of personality in relation to CVDs along with a critical appraisal has been presented in this review.




Sahoo, S., Padhy, S. K., Padhee, B., Singla, N., & Sarkar, S. (2018, December 1). Role of personality in cardiovascular diseases: An issue that needs to be focused too! Indian Heart Journal. Elsevier B.V.

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