heart disease and personality and stress notes

research on heart disease and personality e.g. type a and b as well as hardiness personality

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Cardiovascular disease and other stress related illnesses.
Stress affects the cardio vascular system in very different ways. It causes coronary heart disease and narrowing of
arteries which can cause strokes and heart attacks. Even though there are other factors effecting cardiovascular
disease e.g. smoking. Stress is one of the biggest contributors. Stress causes these issues in three ways 1) stress
increase heart rate 2) stress increases blood pressure 3)stress increases glucose production
Krantz et al:
investigate the effect of mental stress on blood flow and to see if heart disease sufferers react different to healthy
He induced stress via arithmetic and stroop test and public speaking task and measure blood pressure. He found the
those suffering with CVD had high blood pressure while the others didn't.
This shows stress can damage the cardiovascular system. But there are individual differences, it was done in a lab an
they may undergo other damaging activities e.g. drinking.
tested 13,00 people and asked them questions and to complete an anger scale, including whether they were hot
headed or hitting people. None of the participants suffered heart disease. Six years later they where given health
checks. 256 had heart attacks. Those who scored the highest score on the anger scale were 2.5 times more likely to
have a heart attack, this suggest that anger leads to cardiovascular disorders. Anger is stress.
Friedman and rosenmans ­ personality type and heart disease.
Firstly they identified four personality types.
Type a competitive and aggressive. They constantly want to achieve and are often inpatient. associated with CHD
(coronary heart disease)
Type b patient, relaxed and easy going
type c suppress emotions and cope with stress negatively associated with disease
type d gloomy and socially inept ­ associated with depression
aim: to see the role of individual differences and stressful situations.
Procedures 300 men aged 3959 were followed over 8 years. It wa a longitudinal study. They were all healthy when
the study began. They assessed them in two ways : 1) a structured interview. 2) a self assessment of multiple choice
questions. The men were than classified as either type a or b personality. They found type a men were more than
twice likely to develop CHD than type B. this still includes after taking into consideration other factors. The means
personality will effect the likely hood of CHD.
Hardy personality ­ Kobasa and Maddi
this is to explain why some people are more resistant to stress than others. Hardy personalities have characteristics
which protect against stress. 1) control they believe they have control and influence in their lives. 2) commitment a
sense of purpose and involvement in the world. 3) challenge life is a challenge. They used evidence that those that
score high on hardiness training tend to suffer less with stress. There more positive outlook means they perceive less
stress. But most of theses findings were found from male white collar workers which means they cant be generalised.


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