Objective: Certain personality and behavioral traits (e.g., type A and type D) have been reported to be associated with development and progression of coronary heart disease (CHD), but few have examined the relationship using a comprehensive assessment of personality along with a structured assessment of psychiatric disorders. Methods: Based on participants (age: 47.3 ± 12.8; female: 62.6%) of the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area follow-up study, we examined the relationship between the 5 major domains of personality traits (neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) and incident CHD between Wave III (1993-1996) and Wave IV(2004-2005). Results: Incident CHD developed in 65 participants during the follow-up. Those with incident CHD had lower on openness (44.06 ± 9.29 vs 47.18 ± 8.80; p = 0.007) and extraversion (45.98 ± 9.25 vs 49.12 ± 8.92; p = 0.007) scores than those without. Logistic regression models revealed an inverse association (OR = 0.73; 95% CI = 0.54-0.98) between openness factor z-scores and incident CHD after adjusting for putative confounding factors, including DSM III-R Major Depressive Disorder. Conclusion: High openness appears to be an independent protective factor for incident CHD in the community. Future studies should examine behavioral and pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying this association.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Applied Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health