BACKGROUND: Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a serious condition that is associated with impaired health status and a high prevalence of depressive symptoms. To date, little is known about the determinants of health status and depressive symptoms in CHF. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess whether Type D personality is associated with impaired health status and increased depressive symptoms in heart failure patients, independent of disease characteristics. METHODS: Eighty-four patients (63 men and 21 women, mean age=65.9+/-12.1 years) with systolic CHF completed four questionnaires to assess Type D personality (14-item Type D Personality Scale [DS14]), health status (Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire [MLWHFQ]), depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale [CES-D]) and mood status (Global Mood Scale [GMS]) when visiting an outpatient heart failure clinic. Information on clinical variables was obtained from patients' medical records. RESULTS: Type D patients were more likely to experience impairment in health status (18/38=47%) as compared to non-Type Ds (11/46=24%), P=0.027. They also more often reported symptoms of depression; namely 18 of 38=47% versus 6 of 46=13%, P=0.001. When controlling for severity and etiology of CHF, age and gender, Type D remained a significant associate of impaired health status [odds ratio (OR) 3.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.12-7.78] and depressive symptoms (OR 6.3, 95% CI 2.08-19.12). CONCLUSIONS: Type D was associated with impaired health status and increased depressive symptoms in CHF patients. These preliminary findings demonstrate the value of including personality factors in CHF research.
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