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Int J Epidemiol. 2001 Apr;30(2):363-9.

Time urgency and risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction.

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  • 1Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA02215, USA.



Inconsistencies in the literature linking Type A behaviour pattern (TAB) to coronary heart disease (CHD) may be due to differences in the effects of various components of TAB, namely aggressiveness, hostility, ambitiousness, competitive drive, and a chronic sense of time urgency.


We investigated the association between sense of time urgency/impatience and non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI) in a study of 340 cases and an equal number of age-, sex-, and community-matched controls.


A dose-response relation was apparent among subjects who rated themselves higher on the four-item time urgency/impatience scale (P-value for trend <0.001), with a matched odds ratio (OR) for non-fatal MI of 4.45 (95% CI : 2.20-8.99) comparing those with the highest rating to those with the lowest. After further adjustment for family history of premature MI, physical activity, body mass index, occupation, cigarette smoking, total caloric intake, per cent calories from saturated fat, alcohol intake, lipid levels, treated hypertension and diabetes, the dose-response relation remained (P-value for trend = 0.015) and the adjusted OR for MI was 3.99 (95% CI : 1.32-12.0) comparing those with the highest rating to those with the lowest.


In these data, a sense of time urgency/impatience was associated with a dose-response increase in risk of non-fatal MI, independent of other risk factors. Prospective cohort studies of time urgency/impatience and incident CHD events are needed to confirm or refute these observations from a case-control study.

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