Association of Specific Behavior Pattern in Women with Blood and Cardiovascular Findings
The possible effect of a specific overt behavior pattern upon serum cholesterol levels, blood coagulation, and incidence of arcus senilis and clinical coronary heart disease was studied in two groups of women randomly chosen for study by lay selectors after careful orientation. Women of group A were selected on the sole basis of their habitual exhibition of a behavior pattern (type A) characterized by excessive competitive "drive," ambitiousness, and immersion in "deadlines." Women of group B were selected by lay selectors on the sole basis of their exhibition of entirely opposite behavioral traits (type B). Each group of subjects included a series of nuns respectively exhibiting the type A and B behavior patterns. The women exhibiting pattern A also exhibited markedly higher serum cholesterol levels, often more rapid blood coagulation, three to five times as much arcus senilis, three to seven times more diastolic hypertension, and a four-fold higher incidence of clinical coronary disease. A history of myocardial infarction or angina pectoris only was found in group A. These striking differences were independent of differences in parental incidence of coronary disease, caloric or fat intake, obesity, physical activity, smoking, or "femininity." The strikingly higher incidence of clinical disease in pattern A women also was not found ascribable per se to differences in heredity, obesity, hypertension, caloric or fat intake, smoking, physical activity, blood coagulation, or serum cholesterol levels.
The results closely resemble those previously found in men with similar behavior patterns, and strongly suggest that the type A behavior pattern is itself in some way largely responsible for the observed findings.
- © 1961 American Heart Association, Inc.