Show Details

Heart and Personality

September 26, 2006

New research suggests personality and heart disease aren’t as intertwined as we thought.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Does your personality affect your heart? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
A new study casts doubt on the notion that certain personality traits, like aggressiveness, jack up your risk of heart disease. It’s from a team including Goncalo Abecasis, a statistical geneticist from the University of Michigan. They looked at over six thousand people on the genetically close-knit island of Sardinia and found no genes that influenced both personality and heart disease. Nor did they find that people with Type-A traits, or, in fact, any specific personality traits, had a higher cardiovascular risk.

GONCALO ABECASIS (University of Michigan):
So they weren’t likely to have different heart rates, or blood pressure… down to the smaller physical changes that we measured: thickness of arteries, things like that.

HIRSHON:
He says factors other than genetics could explain the link between personality and heart disease found in other studies. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.