Psychosocial Risk Factors in Coronary Heart Disease: Beyond Type A Behavior

Rev Port Cardiol. 2005 Feb;24(2):261-81.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Objectives: From a broad perspective of psychocardiology, our aim is to give an overview of the role that psychosocial risk factors play in coronary artery disease.

Methods: A review of the literature was made based on a systematic search of four databases: EBSCO, Proquest Psychology, Proquest Health and PubMed. In sample 1, two dependent (Coronary and Myocardial) and six independent variables (Type A, hostility, anger, depression, anxiety and psychosocial) were created. In sample 2, we searched directly for three descriptors (Type D personality, time urgency and coronary-prone behavior). Following this search, two sets of concepts were distinguished: (1) those relating to traditional research areas, and their critics, and (2) those included in the most recent trends, and their limitations.

Conclusions: Research in psychocardiology has gone beyond the traditional concept of type A behavior pattern. The idea of a specific toxic component has been abandoned, in favor of a more holistic approach. The deleterious effects that negative emotions, particularly depression, as well as personality and socioeconomic status, may have on the functioning of various organs and psychosocial performance have now been recognized.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / trends
  • Coronary Disease / etiology*
  • Coronary Disease / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Type A Personality*