Angina pectoris in type A and type B cardiac patients.
The type A behavior pattern is characterized by excessive competitive drive, a sense of time urgency, enhanced aggressiveness, hostility and a persistent desire for recognition. Type A behaviour is widely recognized as a risk factor in coronary heart disease. This study investigated whether type As and Bs differ in their experience of pain and pain coping efforts. A group of type A (n = 35) and a group of type B (n = 19) cardiac disease patients served as subjects. All subjects underwent diagnostic treadmill testing and were compared on a variety of pain measures. There were no differences between type As and Bs in age, sex, presence of state or trait anxiety or severity of cardiac disease. Type A patients, however, were much more likely than type Bs to be classified on the New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional angina scale as having more severe pain and functional limitation. Type As were also less likely to use pain coping strategies to deal with their pain. Those who assess pain and functional impairment in cardiac patients using the NYHA scale should be aware that type A personality characteristics may affect their assessments. Type A patients who tend to make little use of pain coping strategies may benefit from systematic training in pain control methods. Additional research is needed to examine whether type A-B differences in pain and pain coping strategies may affect risks of coronary morbidity and mortality.
Keefe, FJ; Castell, PJ; Blumenthal, JA
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