Author(s): Denollet J, Conraads VM
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Abstract General distress, shared across depression, anxiety and anger, partly accounts for the link between mind and heart. The type D (distressed) personality profile identifies individuals who are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effect of general distress. Type D individuals frequently experience negative emotions and are socially inhibited. This profile is more stable than that associated with episodes of clinical depression and describes the chronic nature of distress in some patients. Type D may also partly account for the effect of emotional distress on cardiac prognosis. Type D is associated with a threefold increased risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes, even after adjustment for depression. This relationship is less obvious in patients with heart failure. Plausible pathways linking type D to cardiovascular complications include hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis hyperreactivity, autonomic and inflammatory dysregulation, and increased oxidative stress. Research needs to further clarify these pathways and investigate whether type D patients may benefit from closer monitoring of risk factors and a personalized approach to behavioral intervention. The DS14 is a brief, well-validated measure of type D that could be incorporated into clinical research and practice to identify high-risk patients.
This article was published in Cleve Clin J Med
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology