Impatience and hostility — two characteristics of a “type A” personality — increase young adults’ long-term risk of developing hypertension.
However, other psychological and social factors such as competitiveness, depression and anxiety did not increase the hypertension risk, the study, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, showed.
The study authors said the analysis is the first to examine as a group the effects of key type A behaviors, depression and anxiety on the long-term risk for high blood pressure.
Earlier studies had mostly looked at individual psychological and social behaviors, and came up with conflicting results.
“The notion that a ‘type A’ behavior pattern is ‘bad’ for your health has been around for many years,” said NHLBI Acting Director Dr. Barbara Alving. “This study helps us understand which aspects of that behavior pattern may be unhealthy.”
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