Is Type D Personality Associated With Cardiovascular Disease?
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Objective: Type D personality has been well established as a risk factor among cardiac patients. There have been some findings about the negative impact of Type D among non-cardiac individuals as well. It remains unclear if Type D personality is a risk factor within the general population or unique to heart disease. The DS14, which measures Type D personality, has been validated internationally. This study sought to validate the DS14 measure within the U.S. population and also explore differences in implications of Type D personality among cardiac and non-cardiac populations.;Method: There were 254 individuals (137 cardiac and 108 non-cardiac) recruited from settings located in metropolitan New York City and via online survey. Depression and Type D personality were assessed as continuous and categorical variables. The outcome variable was disease status (cardiac disease vs. non-cardiac). Primary analyses included bivariate correlations and hierarchical logistic regressions that examined relationships among these variables and the effects of depression and Type D personality on disease status. Secondary analyses included a principal components analysis (PCA) to examine structural properties of the DS14 and hierarchical logistic regression to replicate results of primary analyses based on results of PCA.;Results: Primary analyses showed that those with Type D personality were significantly less likely to have a cardiac diagnosis (OR = 0.21; 95% CI = 0.07 - 0.66), while depression only became a significant predictor after Type D personality was entered into the model (OR = 3.98; 95% CI = 1.19 - 13.26). These findings were not confirmed with continuous variables of Type D and depression. The PCA yielded a two-component structure similar to that found in previous research, which included negative affectivity and social inhibition. The primary analyses were repeated using the component structure found and results were not replicated.;Conclusion: Findings demonstrated that individuals without Type D personality were over four times more likely than those with Type D personality to have a cardiac diagnosis. Type D personality was also shown to be a distinct construct from depression. These results were not found with continuous measures of Type D and depression, nor were they found using the component structure that resulted from the PCA. The PCA demonstrated that the DS14 is a valid and reliable measurement tool among U.S. individuals and the component structure was similar to that in current literature. Overall, it appears that Type D personality may not be related to cardiovascular disease among a diverse U.S. sample. However, further research is warranted to strengthen these findings.
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