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J Psychosom Res. 2011 Nov;71(5):357-63. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2011.05.004. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Type D personality and metabolic syndrome in a 7-year prospective occupational cohort.

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CoRPS, Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic diseases, Tilburg University, The Netherlands.



Type D personality is a combination of high negative affectivity (NA) and high social inhibition (SI). This trait is related to increased mortality and poor health outcomes in patients with cardiovascular diseases, although it is less well-established if Type D personality also poses an increased risk in healthy populations. A potential underlying pathway could include the metabolic syndrome and the combination of abdominal obesity, subnormal levels of triglycerides and HDL-cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and increased plasma glucose levels. We investigated if Type D personality shows a cross-sectional and longitudinal association with metabolic syndrome in a working population.


Poisson regression and linear regression were used to estimate the association between Type D personality and its subscales (NA) and (SI) with objectively established metabolic syndrome markers in cross-sectional (n=458) and prospective (n=268, 6.3 years follow-up) analyses of data from an occupational cohort (mean age=35.9 years, SD=11.7; 80% male).


Type D personality was neither associated with the metabolic syndrome nor with any of its subcomponents.


The present study does not support a role for metabolic syndrome as a mediating mechanism. More research is needed that examines potential pathways linking Type D personality with cardiovascular disease outcomes.

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