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Psychological correlates of coronary heart disease

  • Christopher C. Tennant (a1) and Pauline M. Langeluddecke (a1)


The Type A behaviour pattern and other measures of psychological traits and symptom states were assessed in 92 subjects (predominantly male) presenting for coronary angiography. These measures were correlated with three angiographic indices of coronary heart disease (CHD) severity and two clinical indices (angina and the duration of CHD). The only psychological measures associated with atherosclerosis (assessed by angiography) were indices of personality: Type A (the Jenkins Activity Survey), trait tension, trait anxiety and suppression of anger. It was concluded that these traits may have some role in the pathogenesis of coronary atherosclerosis. None of the measures of psychological symptoms showed a significant association with angiography indices. However, depressive symptoms and expressed hostility were associated with the severity of angina and duration of heart disease. It was concluded that these affects are the consequences of the physical disability of CHD.


Corresponding author

1 Address for correspondence: Associate Professor Christopher C. Tennant, Academic Department of Psychiatry, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, New South Wales 2065, Australia.


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