Type D personality and cardiac output in response to stress

Lynn Williams, Ronan E O'Carroll, Rory O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Type D personality is predictive of adverse clinical outcome and psychological distress in cardiac patients. However, the mechanisms by which Type D affects health are largely unknown. This study (1) investigated the relationship between Type D and cardiovascular reactivity to experimentally induced stress and (2) tested the influence of Type D on subjective feelings of stress. Eighty four healthy young adults (50% males, mean (SD) age 22 (6.84) years), completed measures of Type D personality, stress arousal and a stress-inducing procedure involving a taxing mental arithmetic task. Cardiovascular measures were recorded throughout the experiment. Mixed measures ANOVA showed a significant main effect of Type D and a significant group by time effect of Type D on cardiac output in male participants. Type D males exhibit significantly higher cardiac output during the stressor phase compared to non-Type D males. However, there was no relationship between Type D and cardiovascular reactivity in females. In addition, Type D individuals exhibited significantly higher feelings of subjective stress compared to non-Type D's. These findings provide new evidence on Type D and suggest that Type D may affect health through increased cardiac output and higher subjective feelings of stress following acute stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-500
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2009


  • cardiovascular disease
  • negative affect
  • reactivity
  • social inhibition
  • type D personality


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