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PLoS One. 2013 Oct 17;8(10):e77918. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077918. eCollection 2013.

Type D personality is associated with psychological distress and poor self-rated health among the elderly: a population-based study in Japan.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan.


We investigated the association between Type D personality, psychological distress, and self-ratings of poor health in elderly Japanese people. In August 2010, questionnaires were sent to all residents aged ā‰„65 in three municipalities (nā€Š=ā€Š21232) in Okayama Prefecture, Japan, and. 13929 questionnaires were returned (response rate: 65.6%). To assess mental and physical health outcomes, we used the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale and a single item question regarding perceived general health. We analyzed 9759 questionnaires to determine odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for several health outcomes, adjusting for sex, age, smoking status, frequency of alcohol consumption, overweight status, educational attainment, socioeconomic status, and number of cohabiters. The multiple imputation method was employed for missing data regarding Type D personality. The prevalence of Type D personality in our sample was 46.2%. After adjusting for covariates, we found that participants with Type D personality were at 4-5 times the risk of psychological distress, and twice the risk of poor self-rated health. This association was stronger in participants aged 65-74 years (psychological distress; OR: 5.80, 95% CI: 4.96-6.78, poor self-rated health; OR: 2.84, 95% CI: 2.38-3.38) than in those aged over 75 years (psychological distress; OR: 4.54, 95% CI: 3.96-5.19, poor self-rated health; OR: 2.05, 95% CI: 1.79-2.34). Type D personality is associated with adverse health status among Japanese elderly people in terms of mental and physical risk; therefore, further research into the implications of this personality type is warranted.

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