Does Type A personality cause heart disease?

Are some people more naturally stressed than others?

There are ways in which some people typically respond to everyday situations, whether stressful or not, that result in physiological reactions that can contribute to heart disease. The strongest association with stress responses is in people who tend to get angry or hostile easily, who are fast-paced, always under time pressures, aggressive, distrustful, or cynical. This type of behavior in a person, familiar to most of us, is called Type A behavior.
Books have been written about Type A behavior. People who exhibit this behavior are more likely to have a heart attack than those who are more trusting and calm. There are certain psychological characteristics of a Type A person such as hostility, cynicism, and anger that are strongly associated with increased heart attack risk. Those who have a high level of anger and hostility are at the greatest risk. Anger and hostility may cause the release of hormones such as adrenaline into the bloodstream, which can increase the tendency of blood to clot and raise the blood pressure sufficiently to cause a heart attack. If you feel pressured for time and often hurry or interrupt someone who is speaking to you, you may be a Type A person with an increased risk of heart attack. But you must keep in mind that Type A behavior has been somewhat oversold to the public. It is the anger and hostility part of the Type A personality that is the lethal component. Use stress reduction to relieve this.

Your childhood experiences, your environment over the years, your personal and work life, your successes and failures, the outcome of various events in your life, your general health and, as always, your genes all affect the way you respond to stress.


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